Tuesday 25 May 2021 / 2:42 PM Ellie Reeves. / Justice

Labour calls on the Government to publish its long awaited rape review

Labour has today called on the Government to publish its end to end rape review, as latest figures reveal that only one in sixty rape cases lead to a person being charged.

Shadow Solicitor General, Ellie Reeves MP used an Urgent Question to press the Government to publish the long awaited rape review, which has been promised for over two years, and with no action forthcoming from the Government on what it intends to do to improve prosecution and charging rates for rape.

Ellie Reeves MP, Labour’s Shadow Solicitor General, speaking at the Despatch Box, said:

“We have been waiting over two years now for the Government’s rape review, and again the date of publication has been kicked into the long grass.

“No more pilots no more consultations, we need action, we need a plan.

“Labour has one – what we’d do has been set out in our Survivors Support Plan and in our Green Paper for ending violence against women and girls. And I urge the minister today to commit to a date for publishing the rape review”.

“Labour has also called for the Government to make a commitment to supporting Labour’s Green Paper on ending violence against women and girls, which included measures for rolling out indicators of progress – alongside annual reports – to ensure the Government makes tackling violence against women and girls a priority across every department.”

Ellie Reeves MP, Labour’s Shadow Solicitor General, in response to the Urgent Question on the Government’s end to end rape review, said:

 ***CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY***

Thank you Mr Speaker for granting this Urgent Question.

Mr Speaker, this government is letting down victims of rape and serious sexual violence on every front.

Victims being left years for their day in court with no support, no communication and no action from this government.

When I have spoken to victims, they tell me they often feel as if they’re on trial when they report these crimes, how being left to wait years for their day in court leaves them in a form of purgatory, unable to move on from what happened to them. And many feel that the justice system is working against them, not for them, and that is a complete and utter failing by this government.

We have been waiting over two years now for the long awaited rape review, and again the date of publication has been kicked into the long grass – with no action forthcoming from the Government, and in that time another 100,000 rapes are reported to have taken place.

But Mr Speaker, victims cannot wait any longer for action. The Government must urgently publish its rape review, and it must include hard hitting recommendations and root and branch reform of the CPS, MoJ and Home Office. We need to see how it intends to reverse the shocking deterioration of rape prosecutions it has allowed to happen under its watch, and how it intends to improve the experience of the criminal justice system for victims of rape and sexual violence.

What we don’t need are slap dash briefings to the press about what is potentially in this long awaited rape review. No more pilots no more consultations, we need action, we need a plan.

Labour has one – what we’d do has been set out in our Survivors Support Plan and in our Green Paper for ending violence against women and girls.

So today, I ask the Attorney General;

  • Will he commit to backing Labour’s Survivors Support Plan?
  • Will he introduce the indicators across the CPS and MoJ and police to improve victim’s experience of the criminal justice system as set out in our Green Paper for Ending Violence Against Women and Girls?
  • And will he finally commit to a date for when the rape review will be published.
  • Or will he continue to watch the effective decriminalisation of rape?