Kerry McCarthy Labour MP for Bristol East
At this week’s PMQs, Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner gave Dominic Raab a reality check. He claimed that convictions for rape and sexual assault are increasing, but that’s from an incredibly low base. Only 1.6% of rapists face criminal charges and 98% will never see the inside of a courtroom, so he has little to boast about.
I followed upon this at Attorney General Questions by asking the Government to take action on record court backlogs which are causing trials to be postponed. The 1.6% of rape victims whose cases do come to court wait an average 839 days – nearly 3 years – for a trial.
Last year hundreds of cases were dropped because the victim could not wait any longer – and today the Minister was forced to admit it’s still taking far too long to prosecute and convict rapists. While Labour has promised to halve levels of violence against women and girls and introduce specialist rape courts, victims are being failed by a Government which won’t take the action we need.
Watch clip here.