Minister Michelle Donelan reacts to peer's suggestion of 6pm curfew for men

12 March 2021, 08:50 | Updated: 12 March 2021, 09:30

By Fiona Jones

Nick Ferrari questions Universities Minister over the suggestion made by a House of Lords member that men should adhere to a 6pm curfew, after the disappearance of Sarah Everard.

A member of the House of Lords suggested men should adhere to a 6pm curfew in order to keep women safe.

Baroness Jenny Jones, a Green Party peer, said the case of Sarah Everard had brought to the fore the issue of women's safety.

She told the House of Lords: “I would argue that at the next opportunity for a bill that is appropriate, I might actually put in an amendment to create a curfew for men on the streets after 6pm, which I feel will make women much safer, and discrimination of all kinds would be lessened.”

She clarified to LBC that she said it in an ironic way, after South London police told women "not to go out alone" and no one seemed to "bat an eyelid."

The Baroness pointed out to Nick that saying the same about men caused an outcry.

Read more: Sarah Everard - Women share how they've been forced to change their behaviour

Michelle Donelan responded to the suggestion: "I wouldn't support any curfew that would curtail the freedom of women or men. It doesn't really get to the heart of the problem."

"We also need to be careful we don't get into a blame game against men. The majority of men are not predators...and we need to keep reinforcing that."

Ms Donelan impressed that this does not take away from the endless stories that women have shared, which the Government are acknowledging.

"We need to get to the heart of the problem instead of masking it," she said, "we should all be able to walk on the streets, go out and meet friends, including late at night and feel safe being able to do that."

Ms Donelan also told Nick Ferrari she has felt harassed or threatened on the streets, but didn't want to make this about her.

"On the whole our streets are safe, we do have low rates of crime. We are addressing this problem as well, we are well on the way to getting 20,000 additional police officers, we have committed £100 million to violence against women and girls services."

She added that later this year the Government will be launching a strategy to combat violence against women and girls.

Read more: Sarah Everard vigil organisers launch legal action after Met Police 'threaten Covid fines'