The number of women killed by their partners are increasing. Reporting is increasing but conviction rates for rape and sexual assault are falling. Politicians have failed women time and again when it comes to violence abuse - and is it any wonder when they can’t even tackle violence and abuse in their own backyard.
In the last two years over 20 politicians have been accused of violence or harassment. Not one of them has been removed from office.
As long as lawmakers are allowed to act with impunity we cannot hope to create a more equal future or one that is free from violence. So six weeks ago a team of campaigners and survivors of male violence announce that they would be standing as Women’s Equality Party parliamentary candidates - challenging Parliament's culture of impunity at the ballot box.
Since that announcement four out of the five MPs we targeted have stood down and the Liberal Democrats have announced that they will be adopting our key policies for tackling violence - these are huge successes, and we are continuing to campaign in Bury South, Luton North and Dover to have even more impact during this General Election.
Let's end abuse. Let's start with Westminster.
Violence and harassment have no place in Parliament. Constituents should have the power to trigger a by-election where their MP has assaulted someone.
In the last two years, more than 20 MPs have been accused of committing acts of aggression, harassment or assault against women while in public office. Not one of them has lost their job as an MP.
The lack of accountability in Westminster is unacceptable. At a time when one in five people working there has reportedly experienced harassment, this failure to act on unacceptable behaviour sends a strong message that politics is not for women.
It is vital that constituents be given greater powers to hold their representatives to account when they are found guilty of harassment or abuse. The public should be able to send the message loud and clear that violent men do not represent us.
Sign our petition to demand the right to recall MPs accused of violence and harassment
I am calling on the Government to grant constituents the power to recall MPs in all cases of violence or sexual harassment.
Kelvin Hopkins MP was accused of sexual harassment and assault by a young Labour activist . These allegations were made almost two years ago and Kelvin Hopkins has continued to act as an MP whilst under investigation by the Labour party.
Dozens of MPs faced allegations of harassment or abuse during the 2017 ‘Pestminster scandal’ - not one of them lost their jobs. Victims cannot get justice unless powerful men are held to account for abuse. Despite the seriousness of the allegations against Kelvin Hopkins, the internal Labour party investigation has still failed to conclude almost two years later.
Voters should be empowered to recall MPs who are found guilty of violence or harassment by an independent process. If the old parties won’t hold MPs to account then WE will.
Sign our petition to demand that politicians are held accountable for their actions.
Thank you so much for supporting our campaign to end violence.
From all of us at WE, thanks again for your generosity in making this campaign a success. WE can do so much more because of you.
Ivan Lewis MP was accused of sexual harassment by a 19-year-old student but he resigned from the Labour party before they could complete their investigation. He has continued to act as an independent MP for two years.
MPs accused of violence or harassment should be investigated by an independent process, and if they are found guilty voters should have the power to recall them.
Sign our petition to demand justice today.
At the general election the Women’s Equality Party will stand against five MPs who are the subject of unresolved allegations of harassment or violence, including Ivan Lewis.
Since the ‘Pestminster’ scandal in 2017 the Women’s Equality Party has been pushing for changes to the Recall Act 2015 and the establishment of an independent process to investigate allegations, to ensure that MPs who are found guilty of violence, harassment or assault can be properly held to account.
Victims cannot get justice unless powerful men are held to account for abuse.
Voters should be empowered to recall MPs who are found guilty of violence or harassment by an independent process. If Parliament won’t hold MPs to account then WE will.
Sign our petition to demand that politicians are held accountable for their actions.
Thomas Davies, Chairman, Cities of London & Westminster Conservative Association;
Keith Single, Chairman, Dover & Deal Conservative Association
Dear Mr Davies and Mr Single,
RE: Deselecting MPs with unresolved allegations of violence
Earlier this year the Rt. Hon. Brandon Lewis MP wrote to you about the importance of tackling discrimination and abuse at every level of the Conservative Party. Mark Field MP was filmed grabbing a peaceful activist by the neck and pushing her into a pillar, and Charlie Elphicke MP has been charged with three counts of sexual assault. I am writing to implore you not to reselect these men as candidates at the next general election.
Male violence against women and girls is endemic in the UK. A quarter of women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime and more than 85,000 women are raped every year. Despite an increase in reporting, the proportion of cases that result in a charge has decreased significantly and support services have been cut to the bone. The failure to hold violent men to account sends the message that violence is inevitable, women’s safety doesn’t matter, and that perpetrators can act with impunity.
The Prime Minister last week sacked 21 Conservative MPs for voting to stop a no-deal Brexit that will hurt women further still. I’m sure you will agree that MPs should face at least the same consequences for violence as they do for failing to toe the party line (or claiming expenses for duck houses, for example). Indeed the Code of Conduct for Conservative Party Representatives states clearly that MPs must “not use their position to bully, abuse, victimise, harass or unlawfully discriminate against others.” Yet not one MP has lost their seat for sexual harassment or violence.
The Women’s Equality Party is calling for the Recall Act to be amended so that MPs found guilty of sexual harassment or violence by an independent investigation can be removed by their constituents. Until that happens we will be standing five survivors against five MPs with unresolved allegations of violence and harassment against them. I am asking you, as an officer of the Conservative Party, to force reselections in Cities of London & Westminster and Dover - in order to hold these MPs to account for their actions.
Violence is not inevitable and it is within our power to do something about it.
Leader of the Women’s Equality Party
We, the undersigned, call upon the Conservative Associations of Cities of London and Westminster and Dover and Deal to deselect Mark Field MP and Charlie Elphicke MP
Jared O’Mara has consistently failed to represent his constituents in Parliament. He has now failed to resign, despite promising to do so.
Voters should be empowered to recall MPs who are found guilty of violence or harassment.
Sign our petition to demand recall powers.
Jared O’Mara MP has let down constituents in Sheffield Hallam. He hasn’t shown up for important votes in Westminster, hasn’t kept a constituency office for weeks at a time, and he has admitted to sexually harassing a 20-year-old female staff member. Despite promising to resign, he has now decided to postpone his resignation indefinitely.
But Westminster has failed Sheffield too. An internal Labour party investigation into the original complaints of racist, sexist & homophobic comments resulted in nothing more than a formal warning.
When Jared O’Mara then resigned from the Labour Party, he was able to keep his seat as an independent MP. That means he has been able to decide which consequences he should face for his own actions. He has so far faced no consequences for sexually harassing a member of his staff. We should be able to hold him to account.
Constituents should be empowered to recall MPs found guilty of violence or harassment so that what has happened in Sheffield never happens again.
Sign our petition to stop this happening again.
When a snap General Election is called, WE will stand five survivors against five MPs accused of violence and harassment.
You are invited to join our squad of rebel activists who will stand with us against this abuse of power. Sign up below to become part of our Action Stations squad and receive text message alerts to join us in direct action to show that abuse has no place in parliament.
WE must make a public, visible stand to raise awareness of the actions and attitudes of these men, and the broken system that allows them to abuse without repercussions. When you join our special Action Stations team you will be updated by text message when we need people to take a stand with us.
Direct action is powerful, effective and fun. Sign up below. giving your mobile number, and stand by for further instructions.Sign up
Donate today so WE can hold MPs to account.
WE are proud to be standing five survivors against five MPs with unresolved allegations of violence or harassment. Because violence and abuse have no place in parliament.
If you give fifty pounds, we will be able to print a set of leaflets so that voters in one constituency know we are standing, and why.
MPs found guilty of violence should not be standing in the next election. WE need your support to get the message out to voters that WE are standing against them and the parties that let them off the hook.
Our activists will be out in force delivering posters and leaflets like the one pictured above. With your help, we can reach all five constituencies.
Donate £50 today, or whatever you can afford, to give our courageous activists the tools they need to spread the word and oppose violence.Donate
We will be standing five survivors against five MPs with unresolved allegations of violence and harassment at the next election.
Join our campaign in Cities of London and Westminster on Saturday 21 September. WEP candidate, Jenn Selby, is a journalist, campaigner and survivor who is standing against Mark Field MP who was filmed grabbing a peaceful activist by the neck and pushing her against a pillar.
Come canvassing or volunteer on our stall and share our message with voters: violence and abuse have no place in parliament.