Yesterday (17 January) the Government was defeated 14 times on measures contained in their Policing Bill in the House of Lords by Labour Peers.
The Government, in complete contravention of democratic norms, had added controversial measures to their Policing Bill after it had completed its passage through the elected House of Commons.
One of the key sections that was voted down would have removed the publics’ right to protest and given sweeping powers to the police to stop and search people without due cause. Senior police officers spoke out against the proposals and made clear the new powers were not remotely necessary.
The Government’s focus for the Policing Bill was not to protect women and girls against violence but instead to rush through draconian measures that would limit the publics’ right to protest. I’m delighted that their undemocratic attempts have been stopped and common sense has won the day.
The Labour Party is focusing on the issues that are affecting our communities and ensuring that the police have the powers and resources they need to protect the public. That’s why we supported, and won, measures to tackle drink spiking which has seen a worrying increase in the last few months.
And importantly, we also forced the government to require all Police Officers to act at all times in the public interest and with transparency – known as the Hillsborough amendment.
I’m contacted on a weekly basis by constituents who are concerned about the growing rates of antisocial behaviour, violent crime and crime against women and girls in their communities. Labour will always put these priorities first.