UK

Labour faces accusations it is ‘soft’ on crime as party signals it will oppose tougher prison terms 

Labour faces accusations it is ‘soft’ on crime as party signals it will oppose tougher prison terms

  • Labour branded soft on crime after vowing to vote against tougher sentences 
  • The new legislation would also police given power to clamp down on protests 
  • David Lammy criticised Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill proposals

Labour is facing claims it is soft on crime after announcing it will vote against legislation introducing tougher sentences for child murderers and sex offenders.

Justice spokesman David Lammy said the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill contains ‘poorly thought out’ proposals that would impose disproportionate controls on the right to protest.

He instead urged ministers to drop the legislation, which comes before the Commons today, and work cross-party to legislate to tackle violence against women.

David Lammy (pictured last year) said the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill contains ‘poorly thought out’ proposals that would impose disproportionate controls on the right to protest

The wide-ranging Bill, drawn up in the wake of Extinction Rebellion and Black Lives Matter demonstrations, would give police the power to clamp down on protests that cause ‘serious disruption’.

Vandals who criminally damage statues and war memorials could face up to ten years in jail under the new law.

Mr Lammy said there was a ‘national demand for action to tackle violence against women’, warning: ‘This is no time to be rushing through poorly thought-out measures to impose disproportionate controls on free expression and the right to protest. 

‘Now is the time to unite the country and put in place long overdue protections for women against unacceptable violence.’

The wide-ranging Bill, drawn up in the wake of Extinction Rebellion and Black Lives Matter demonstrations, would give police the power to clamp down on protests that cause ¿serious disruption¿. Pictured: A vandalised Winston Churchill statue in June 2020

The wide-ranging Bill, drawn up in the wake of Extinction Rebellion and Black Lives Matter demonstrations, would give police the power to clamp down on protests that cause ‘serious disruption’. Pictured: A vandalised Winston Churchill statue in June 2020

The Tories last night criticised Labour after it announced its MPs would be whipped to vote against the Bill.

Party co-chairman Amanda Milling said: ‘It is shocking that Labour is trying to block tough new laws to keep people safe, including many vital measures to protect women from violent criminals.

‘By voting against this Bill, Labour are voting against tougher sentences for child murderers and sex offenders.’

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