UK Politics

Labour Party: There is a real problem with both Conservative and Liberal Democrat Ministers attitude to women - Cooper

News   •   Nov 16, 2010 11:45 GMT

Responding to the government’s announcement it will abandon plans to give anonymity to rape defendants, Shadow Minister for Women and Equality, Yvette Cooper said:

“It is about time the government has finally dropped this unfair plan, thanks to pressure from women's groups, police officers and other campaigners.

“The government should never have proposed this in the first place. It was a deeply unfair plan to single out rape defendants to remain anonymous and would have sent a message to juries and to victims that uniquely in rape cases the victim should not be believed.

“It is clear there is a real problem with both Conservative and Liberal Democrat Ministers attitude to women. As well as this rape plan, they are opposing European action on human trafficking, weakening action on domestic violence and cutting far more in the spending review from women than from men.

Caroline Flint, Labour MP for Don Valley, said:

"I'm very pleased the campaign we fought last summer against the coalition's proposals to give rape suspects anonymity has led to the government finally abandoning its plans. 

"There was never any evidence to support a change in the law and it's a mystery why David Cameron and Nick Clegg came up with such a dangerous idea in the first place."

Labour’s deputy leader Harriet Harman said:

“I welcome this u-turn from the Government. If enacted it would which would have sent a powerful message to juries in rape cases that the rape victim is not to be believed. And would have sent a devastating message to rape victims that uniquely of all victims they are not to be believed. 

“We also know that it is often only after many rapes that a defendant is brought to court which prompts previous victims to find the courage to come forward.

“For those reasons we need more detail on the justification for maintaining anonymity for teachers accused of assault. We await further clarity from the Government on this issue.”