Many people have contacted me in response to events over the weekend and I share your shock and concern about the pictures I have seen of police action in Clapham at the vigil in memory of Sarah Everard. I am also extremely conscious of the need for significant improvements in the judicial response to violence against women.
Several of you have also contacted me to specifically ask that I vote against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, when it has its Second Reading in the House of Commons, either because of matters associated with the killing of Sarah Everard or because of other provisions in the Bill. It is the position of the Labour Party that the Official Opposition will vote against the Bill at the Second Reading.
As a member of the Speaker’s Panel, one of my parliamentary responsibilities is to chair the Committee Stage of Bills as well as other debates. The Committee Stage is where proposed legislation is subject to line by line scrutiny and where amendments can also be debated. I have been asked to chair the Committee Stage of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which means I am not able to vote on it at ANY stage. It is also expected that the committee chair should adopt an impartial and balanced approach and therefore refrain from comment on the Bill itself.
I hope you can understand my position but please be assured that I take these concerns very seriously.
You can read the latest statement from the Labour Party here: https://labour.org.uk/press/david-lammy-labour-will-be-voting-against-the-police-crime-sentencing-and-courts-bill/