POLITICS

Tory MP Talks For Over An Hour In Bid To Derail Domestic Violence Bill

'There’s 78 minutes I’ll never get back.'

16/12/2016 13:18 | Updated 16 December 2016
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Philip Davies

A Tory MP spoke for an hour and 20 minutes in the House of Commons on Friday in an attempt to block a bill on violence against women.

In a lengthy speech, Philip Davies said the bid to protect women from domestic abuse was “sexist against men”, “political correctness”, and “virtue signalling”, in an apparent effort to make the bill run out of time.

Ministers were debating whether to ratify the Istanbul Convention, which would increase support for victims of domestic violence.

But Davies, who has long campaigned against feminism, used up time in the chamber by reading out details of individual cases of domestic violence perpetrated by women, including comments by judges.

The MP for Shipley also spent several minutes talking about the definition of domestic violence and the history of the Istanbul Convention, listing all the countries that had not ratified the legislation.

During Davies’ speech some of his colleagues turned away from him, while heckles came from the benches opposite. Labour MP Thangam Debbonaire, following Davies, said “there’s 78 minutes I’ll never get back”.

The MP, who has previously told a men’s rights conference that “feminist zealots really do want women to have their cake and eat it”, said the debate was based in “hypocrisy”, and only “morons on Twitter” would be unable to see his point of view.

“It is discriminatory and sexist to say we should only be focusing on violence against women. If this happened the other way round there would be an absolute outcry”, he told ministers.

In the extended speech Davies suggested sending people to prison for longer to prevent domestic violence, and said he wanted to make November 25th, which is the international day for elimination of violence against women, apply to victims of both sexes.

But despite the stunt MPs voted the bill through with 135 votes to 2. It now moves on to the committee stage.

The anti-feminist MP has successfully filibustered legislation in the past, including one bill to stop rogue landlords evicting tenants asking for basic repairs, one to regulate payday lenders and a third to force councils to provide support to those who care for the disabled.

This despite a promise from Davies when he was first elected in 2005 to “start off as I mean to go on – by being brief.”

The incident follows an announcement on Tuesday that Davies had been appointed to a Parliamentary committee responsible for scrutinising the Government on women’s issues. 

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