Fury as Tory councillor sparks suggests alleged rape victim is 'likely' a prostitute

3 January 2023, 15:32 | Updated: 4 January 2023, 08:44

Shaun Slator is the Conservative councillor for St. Mary Cray in Bromley, south east London
Shaun Slator is the Conservative councillor for St. Mary Cray in Bromley, south east London. Picture: Twitter
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

A Tory councillor who sparked a furious backlash after suggesting an alleged rape victim was "likely" to have been working as a prostitute now faces disciplinary action from the Conservative party.

Shaun Slator, Conservative councillor for St. Mary Cray, Bromley, replied to a news story that detailed how a woman had allegedly been raped in a South London park on December 30, by saying: "More likely that it's a punter that didn't pay." The tweet has since been deleted.

Responding to the outburst, Labour MP Jess Phillips, the Shadow Minister for Domestic Violence and Safeguarding, said: “These comments are dangerous and stupid.

"First, prostituted and exploited women are raped and abused all the time and should be cared for, the idea that sexually exploited women and girls can't be abused is what led to grave cover up and state failure.

"He should educate himself. Second, to stigmatise and blame any victim is despicable and it's the reason why so few rapists ever face justice.

“He should focus on the terrible failure of Conservatives to secure conviction and charge in cases of sexual violence, they've crippled police and courts so badly.

“These attitudes have no place in society and even less so in a representative. The Conservatives shouldn't allow it in their ranks.”

The Conservative party and Bromley council are now investigating Mr Slator's remarks.

Jess Phillips is the Shadow Minister for Domestic Violence and Safeguarding
Jess Phillips is the Shadow Minister for Domestic Violence and Safeguarding. Picture: Getty

Liberal Democrat MP for Richmond Park Sarah Olney added: "This is a disgusting comment to make.

“The councillor should apologise immediately and retract these disgraceful comments. I expect the Conservative Party to suspend him without delay.

“These attitudes towards rape should not be tolerated anywhere in this country, and especially in our politics. For elected representatives to spout such offensive remarks on this crime really is shocking."

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Meanwhile, leader of the Women's Equality Party Mandu Reid called the Conservative councillor's comments "disgraceful".

She told The Mirror: “I live in South East London and I was devastated to hear of this horrific incident - my thoughts are with the woman who reported the attack.

“The comments made by Shaun Slator are disgraceful and make me so angry, they demonstrate that he is not fit to serve as a councillor and should be removed from his duties immediately."

Despite the furious public backlash, Mr Slator does not appear to have any regrets about the tweet, claiming the area surrounding Plumstead Park has a "huge problem with prostitutes".

Shaun Slator's offensive tweet appears to have been deleted
Shaun Slator's offensive tweet appears to have been deleted. Picture: Twitter

He said: “The area has a huge problem with prostitutes which I have been reporting for years, and the local police and council don’t seem to do anything about it.

“I’ve sent them video evidence of the prostitutes chasing the guys down the road because they've not paid, and stuff like that. That’s a frequent thing that happens round here - the men don’t pay the prostitutes and then the women say they have been raped.

“There’s also other ones where they get caught in the park, the guy does a runner and then the woman says, ‘Oh, I was getting raped’.”

He continued: “There’s been a rape reported at 4am in Plumstead, and I think it's very unlikely to have anyone walking round on her own.”

When asked if he might understand why people were upset with the language he used in his tweet, Mr Slator said: "I’m not promoting rape, am I?

“I’m not justifying it all. You can put a headline there saying a woman has been raped but when you look behind it there’s a huge problem in the area with prostitutes, with women on drugs, women being abused, women being pimped out.

“I’ve had a knife pulled on me by a pimp in Plumstead for walking past a prostitute.“There’s a huge problem here which the council and police aren’t tackling."

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