Labour MP's bid to make misogyny a hate crime gets government boost

Posted On: 
6th September 2018

Ministers have agreed to consider changing the law to make misogyny a hate crime after a sustained campaign from Labour MP Stella Creasy.

The Walthamstow MP is hoping to pave the way for hatred of women to be treated in the same way as racism and homophobia

Ms Creasy attempted to force through a change in the law by tabling an amendment to the Government’s Voyeurism Bill in the Commons yesterday.

The bill, which will make upskirting – taking pictures of people underneath their clothes without their consent – illegal was previously blocked by Tory backbencher Christopher Chope, but was reintroduced by Theresa May.

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Ms Creasy tabled changes to the legislation as it passed through the House, which would have made abusing people based on their gender a hate crime.  

She said: “Treating misogyny as something we should tackle is not about flirting.

“It is not about banter and it is not about telling all men they are rapists.

“This is not about criminalising wolf-whistling or flirting.

“It is about recognising existing crimes that are motivated by hostility towards somebody because of their gender, because of what they are - hate crimes.”

The Labour backbencher later agreed to withdraw her amendment after securing an agreement from ministers that a review into the issue would be launched.

She called for “a law commission review into all hate crime, including misogyny, which will look at both existing legislation and new legislation”.

Responding to Ms Creasy Justice Minister Lucy Frazer said: “I will be asking the Law Commission to undertake a review of the coverage and approach of hate crime legislation following their earlier recommendation to do so.

“This will include how protected characteristics including sex and gender characteristics should be considered by new or existing hate crime law.”