Labour MPs attack shadow minister over female-only train carriages idea
Labour MPs have hit out at shadow minister Chris Williamson after he said women-only train carriages may be needed to tackle a rise in sex attacks.
Speaking exclusively to PoliticsHome, Chris Williamson said it could help to create a "safe space" for female commuters.
Figures uncovered by the BBC last month showed that 1,448 sexual offences on UK trains were reported in 2016-17 – up from 650 in 2012-2013.
Shadow fire minister Mr Williamson said: "Complemented with having more guards on trains, it would be a way of combating these attacks, which have seen a very worrying increase in the past few years."
His comments echoed those of Jeremy Corbyn, who came in for criticism when he floated the idea when he was first running to be Labour leader two years ago.
Mr Williamson also came in for severe criticism yesterday from female Labour MPs Stella Creasy and Jess Phillips.
Birmingham Yardley MP Ms Phillips said Mr Williamson's amounted to "giving up on trying to prosecute assaults".
A report in 2014 by Middlesex University for the Department for Transport said bringing women-only carriages would be a "retrograde step" that "could be thought of as insulting, patronising and shaming to both men and women".