Corbyn won’t introduce women-only train carriages to tackle sex offences

Corbyn won’t introduce women-only train carriages to tackle sex offences
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has turned down a renewed proposal to introduce women-only train carriages to tackle a spike in sexual offences following opposition to the idea.

Despite being the first to have suggested their introduction during his leadership campaign in 2015, the socialist leader has now turned down a fresh proposal by Labour MP Chris Williamson, saying it does not reflect the public will.

Asked if he would revisit the idea, Corbyn said: “No. It was there [during his leadership campaign] as a discussion item which was taken out of context.

“The response was that people don’t want them: end of [story],” told the Huffington Post UK.

Williamson suggested on Wednesday that the idea should be revisited as it could create a “safe space” for female passengers, amid reports of sexual offences on public transport more than doubling since 2013.

“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,” Williamson told PoliticsHome.

“I’m not saying it has to happen, but it may create a safe space. It would be a matter of personal choice whether someone wanted to make use of it.”

However, just as in 2015, the idea of a women-only carriage has been met with widespread criticism, with one fellow MP arguing it “normalizes” sexual harassment.

“Can we make all carriages safe for all passengers rather than restricting where we can go?” Labour MP for Walthamstow Stella Creasy tweeted.

“[It] doesn’t keep women safe to restrict their movements – it normalizes attacks. We need to be clear they [the attackers] are problem, not women’s seating plans.”

Co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party Catherine Mayer said the group would oppose the measure this time round just as it had back in 2015.

A picture also circulated on social media on Wednesday of a note stuck on Williamson’s office door making a mockery of his proposal.