'The UK is not safe for women', Labour's Jess Phillips tells LBC

14 March 2021, 11:03 | Updated: 14 March 2021, 11:05

Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

The UK "is not safe for women and girls", Labour's Shadow Minister for Domestic Violence and Safeguarding Jess Phillips has told LBC.

Speaking on LBC's Swarbrick on Sunday, the Birmingham Yardley MP was asked whether she believed London was safe for females.

It comes after Mayor of London Sadiq Khan told LBC earlier this week that the capital is not safe "for women or girls" following the death of 33-year-old Sarah Everard.

"I wouldn't want to speak just about London," Ms Phillips said.

"The country isn't safe for women and girls.

"A woman is murdered every three days in this country. By the time we've stopped talking about these protests, there will be some more dead women for us to talk about."

The shadow minister told Tom Swarbrick that "things are getting less safe... on every metric" for women, citing a study that found 20 per cent of women over the age of 18 have experienced sexual assault.

Read more: Labour urges government to make misogyny a hate crime

Read more: Met Police chief urged to resign after handling of Sarah Everard vigil

Jess Phillips told LBC she does not think the UK is safe for women
Jess Phillips told LBC she does not think the UK is safe for women. Picture: LBC

She said: "In the last year there has been a 24 per cent drop in rape convictions; there's been a 19 per cent drop in domestic violence convictions; there are more people who have raped someone walking the streets than there were last year.

"I don't want to be hysterical, I don't feel like I can't walk around, and that's what people say. The way to try and make us all fall down a rabbit hole in this is to make out like women are weak and we're all scared. We're not.

"Women have got used to doing things when we're frightened and we've got used to doing things when we're in pain - just look at the shoes we wear."

Ms Phillips then reiterated her point that she "does not think women are safe in this country and I don't think anyone has taken enough action to make it so that they are".

"As a politician, as a policymaker, I'm going to stand in front of other policymakers and I'm going to beg, like I have for the past decade, I'm going to beg that from this moment, we actually start taking action," she added.

"It's not about whether we're safe or not, let's not get into having an argument, let's take some action to make sure we're safe."