Emily Thornberry Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury
Thank you to everyone who wrote to me about making drink spiking a criminal offence.
Women’s safety is an issue of the utmost importance to me, which is why I’m proud to be backing Labour’s ending violence against women and girls green paper, our blueprint for the action we will take if elected to government.
It’s appalling that one in nine women in the UK say they have experienced drink spiking, which makes it even more shocking that Labour research shows that in 2020 there were only 36 prosecutions and a dismal 20 convictions for ‘other miscellaneous sexual offences’, the category that includes drink spiking.
I’m pleased to say that Labour has heard the message loud and clear from campaigners like those who wrote to me about this important issue. They’re right that we’ve got to do more to tackle drink spiking, which is why Keir Starmer has announced that Labour is committed to making drink spiking a specific crime in law. That’s the bold action we need to ensure that victims report this crime to the police, that the police have the tools they need to bring perpetrators to justice, and most importantly that the law acts as a proper deterrent to spiking taking place at all.
Labour’s mission is to halve incidents of violence against women and girls. We know this will be a huge task, but I am absolutely committed to leaving no stone unturned in our mission to protect and defend women’s safety. That means transforming education in schools to educate boys about misogyny and respect, and fixing our broken justice system to ensure that it protects women.
In my role as Shadow Attorney General, holding the Tories to account on women’s safety is my number one priority, including by pushing the Attorney General on women’s safety in parliament. I’ve also been leading the charge to solve the crisis in our courts that has led to a typical delay of 1,000 days between a rape being reported and the completion of a trial. One step would be for the government to fix the staffing crisis in the Crown Prosecution Service by adopting my plan to boost staffing numbers immediately, before even more cases collapse because victims and witnesses lose faith and withdraw from the process.
Please know that I will continue to use my voice to end violence against women and girls once and for all.