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Minister fails to answer Nick Ferrari's question three times
21 July 2021, 09:36
This is the moment a Home Office minister failed to answer Nick Ferrari's very direct questions, three times.
"Will wolf-whistling be made illegal?" Nick Ferrari questioned Home Office minister Victoria Atkins amid reports cat-calling, wolf-whistling and street harassment of women could become illegal under new plans.
A top police officer's going to be put in charge of tackling violence against women and girls in England and Wales.
Issues were forced into the spotlight by the murder of Sarah Everard which prompted 180,000 women to share their experiences of sexual abuse and harassment in their everyday lives.
The move is part of plans set to be announced later, to offer better protection on the street, at home and online.
"Some newspapers have the headline that wolf-whistling or catcalling will be made illegal, what's the truth in that?" Nick asked the minister.
The response was that the government was "listening to views on street harassment," but the minister did not provide a direct answer to Nick's question.
So, Nick asked again.
"Will catcalling or wolf-whistling be made a crime?"
The minister said it was a "really really complicated policy area," but did not directly answer Nick's question for a second time.
"So, the answer is you don't know yet with regard to wolf-whistling and catcalling?" Nick challenged the minister for the third time.
And again the minister failed to answer Nick's very direct question.
The full strategy is due to be published by the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, on Wednesday.
It will include the creation of a new national policing lead to ensure best practice among forces and improve the response times to such crimes.
The strategy also seeks to criminalise so-called virginity testing, described by MPs as a "medieval" practice.
It also sets out a commitment to appoint two new so-called "Violence Against Women and Girls Transport Champions", which the Government said will "drive forward positive change and tackle the problems faced by female passengers on public transport".
Further pledges include the Ministry of Justice commissioning a 24/7 rape and sexual assault helpline, while the Department for Education will work with the Office for Students to tackle sexual harassment and abuse in higher education, the Government said.