London to ‘go further than any city’ in tackling violence against women – Khan

Sadiq Khan has pledged that London will go “further” than any other UK city in tackling violence against women if he is re-elected as mayor.

He will announce a 10-point plan including supporting victims and survivors with free legal advice and providing funding for safe accommodation, to come into force if he is successful on May 2.

The plan, to be included in Mr Khan’s manifesto as he bids for a historic third term, will also include a rollout of activity to tackle misogyny in schools, including more funding to organisations that provide outreach and training to children.

Mr Khan said: “I pledge that London will go further than any city has ever gone in the UK to tackle the scourge of violence against women and girls.”

He highlighted the free new advice and safe accommodation as “key parts” of his plan, adding that the legal system leaves women “feeling alone and unsupported”.

The Labour mayor said: “It remains an epidemic and something as a society we still have to do far more to tackle.

“It’s simply not right that in our country, in 2024, women and girls still routinely live in fear for their own safety.”

Mr Khan’s plan includes a pledge to continue efforts to reform the Metropolitan Police, after a series of scandals hit the force, including Sarah Everard’s murder and the unmasking of officer David Carrick as a serial rapist.

The mayor also took a swipe at Conservative mayoral candidate Susan Hall, who has promised to appoint a women’s commissioner if she is elected.

He said: “While my Tory opponent has proudly said she is not a feminist and thinks police misconduct against women should be dealt with behind closed doors, I’ll continue to do all I can to support women and girls across the capital.”

Susan Hall
Susan Hall (James Manning/PA)

A spokesperson for Ms Hall’s campaign responded: “Susan won’t take lectures on women’s safety from Sadiq Khan.

“Women feel ignored and unsafe in Sadiq Khan’s London, which is why Susan will appoint a women’s commissioner, put CCTV on all new Underground trains, give each borough specialist violence against women and girls officers, and recruit 1,500 new police officers to make our city safer for everyone.”

Andrea Simon, director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition (EVAW), called on political candidates to look beyond the criminal justice system and take a “whole-society approach”.

She said: “One that prioritises preventing this violence through education and early intervention, sustainably funding specialist support services so everyone who needs help can access it, and defending the rights of women and girls.

“A strategy to tackle violence against women and girls should be a priority for London’s mayor and should be designed with the input of specialist women’s organisations.”