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Labour will vote against Sentencing Bill

Ahead of the second reading of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, Shadow Justice Secretary David Lammy said that Labour will oppose a new law handing police and the home secretary greater powers to crack down on protests.

In the wake of the controversial police action at the vigil for Sarah Everard, the 33-year-old murdered when walking home earlier this month, Lammy said that it was ‘no time to be rushing through poorly thought-out measures to impose disproportionate controls on free expression’.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill will give the Home Secretary Priti Patel powers to create laws to define ‘serious disruption’ to communities and organisations, on which police can then rely to impose conditions on protests.

Lammy said that the proposed bill is ‘a mess’ that could potentially lead to ‘harsher penalties for damaging a statue than for attacking a woman’.

He said: “Labour will be voting against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill on this basis.  We are calling on the government to drop its poorly thought-out proposals and instead work with Labour to legislate to tackle violence against women which is forcing so many across the country to live in fear. As well as to deliver the important areas that are long promised, like tougher sentences for attacks on frontline workers and increased sentences for terrorists.”

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