'What are you doing other than being sad?' Jess Phillips hits out at Patel and Cressida

30 September 2021, 18:33

The Labour MP has called for action from the Home Secretary and the Met Police Commissioner
The Labour MP has called for action from the Home Secretary and the Met Police Commissioner. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

Jess Phillips has hit out at Cressida Dick and Priti Patel, accusing them of expressing "platitudes" but failing to take real action to tackle violence against women and girls.

The Labour MP and shadow minister for domestic violence and safeguarding tweeted: "I've watched the Home Secretary and Cressida Dick expressing sorrow, they are both women with immense power please ask them what they are going to do about the massive failings other than be sad."

Speaking to LBC soon afterwards, she said she was "dumbfounded" by the statements from the Home Secretary and the Met Police Commissioner.

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"Both of them in their statements reflected sad horror which is not surprising but neither of them said what was going to be done about it," she told LBC's Eddie Mair.

"How on earth was this man not being thoroughly investigated by the Metropolitan Police when there have been claims against him for indecent exposure and his colleagues called him 'the rapist'?"

She said that Ms Patel and Ms Dick were "both incredibly powerful women" and whilst the Commissioner's statement was "very heartfelt", both responses were just "platitudes".

"I don’t want to just hear platitudes that literally could be spewed out by an AI machine saying 'we’ll work together to make sure we learn lessons'," said Ms Phillips.

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"I have been listening to that for 20 years.

"What are the lessons you’re going to learn, what are you going to do, what is the Home Secretary going to do to ensure that women in our country can trust the police and feel safe on our streets?"

When asked by Eddie Mair whether it was an "overreaction" to question the actions of the police over "on abhorrent individual", she said: "It is not my experience that it is just one abhorrent individual."

She added: "There is a much more fundamental issue than the idea of one bad apple.

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"There is a problem and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate found that to be the case just last week in a report that said that the police forces across the country and the Government are just simply not prioritising violence against women and girls… in the way that they prioritise other crimes."