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Welsh MP requesting male violence debate criticises Rees-Mogg’s ‘patronising’ response

11 Mar 2021 3 minutes Read
Jacob Rees-Mogg speaking in the House of Commons

A Welsh MP has criticised Jacob Rees-Mogg for a “deeply patronising” response to a request for a Commons debate on male violence following the suspected murders of two women within a week.

Pontypridd MP Alex Davies-Jones today called on the UK Government to hold the debate following the deaths of 16-year-old Wenjing Xu in Rhondda Cynon Taf and 33-year-old Sarah Everard in Kent. In both cases, a man has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Speaking in the Commons, Davies-Jones said: “It has been an extremely difficult week for the family and friends of the 16-year-old who was killed in my neighbouring constituency of Rhondda, as well as for the loved ones of Sarah Everard, whose case I know we are all closely following.

“No one should live in fear of male violence, which is a topic we should be regularly speaking up on, and not just in an annual debate to commemorate International Women’s Day.”

Addressing Rees-Mogg, she asked: “Will he, therefore, commit to a debate on male violence in Government time?”

The Conservatives leader of the House of Commons said Davies-Jones raised an “important point” but added that the job of MPs is “not to have debates on particular issues but to legislate”.

“When we legislate we change the law—we actually do things,” he said, highlighting the UK Government’s forthcoming Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

“When we have debates, we may develop views but we do not actually do things. Likewise, the Domestic Abuse Bill, which is in the House of Lords, does things. We should really focus the mind of this House on legislating so that we can improve things in the way the honourable Lady is calling for.”

‘Dreadful’

Responding later on social media, Davies-Jones said his response was “deeply patronising.”

“This morning I asked Jacob Rees Mogg for a debate on male violence after the dreadful news we’ve had this week,” she wrote.

“Well, his response was deeply patronising but he can certainly rest assured I’ll be applying to speak in the Bill next week. I just hope he’ll be listening.”

Rees-Mogg did find time shortly afterwards to recite all the words to God Save the Queen in response to a request for a debate on the monarchy.

Later in the day, Labour MP Jess Philips read out the names of every woman killed by a man in the UK over the past 12 months. It took more than four minutes.

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