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Date Published
July 09, 2024

Sir Keir Starmer is now Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the Labour Party now the party of government, winning 411 seats in the 2024 General Election – a majority of 172 seats.

The Conservatives have 121 seats, the Liberal Democrats 72, Scottish National Party 9, and 6 are independent – the Greens, Plaid Cymru and Reform UK each have 4. A total of 335 candidates are becoming Members of Parliament for the first time.

On Friday, Sir Keir delivered his first speech as Prime Minister to Downing Street, saying the country has “voted decisively for change” and “national renewal”, and has since appointed a number of Ministers, including:

  • Deputy Prime Minister Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities: Rt Hon Angela Rayner MP
  • Chancellor of the Exchequer: Rt Hon Rachel Reeves MP
  • Secretary of State for the Home Department: Rt Hon Yvette Cooper MP
  • Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice: Shabana Mahmood MP
  • Secretary of State for Health and Social Care: Wes Streeting MP
  • Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities: Bridget Phillipson MP
  • Secretary of State for Work and Pensions: Liz Kendall MP
  • Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology: Peter Kyle MP
  • Minister of State (Minister for Prisons, Parole and Probation) in the Ministry of Justice: James Timpson OBE
  • Attorney General: Richard Hermer KC
  • Minister of State for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and Minister of State for (Women and Equalities) in the Department for Education: Anneliese Dodds MP

We’ll be keeping an eye out for further announcements, including news of the Minister for Victims and Safeguarding role. We’ll also be looking to hear more about each Minister’s priorities, having heard so far from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Foreign Secretary and the Education Secretary.

What does a new government mean for our prospects of ending VAWG?

Going by Labour’s manifesto, we know that positively, ending violence against women and girls (VAWG) is on the government agenda. Our manifesto analysis highlighted the Labour Party’s ambitious goal of halving VAWG within a decade, along with a welcome, though vague, commitment to tackle misogyny in schools.

The new government must ensure these pledges are prioritised, with action taken to work through how to make this a reality. Our polling found that 76% of people do not trust politicians to tackle VAWG, and the Labour Party  now has the opportunity to change this.

A whole-society approach is needed

Starmer’s first speech to Downing Street referenced ‘safer streets’ and ‘secure borders’, which reflects how the Labour manifesto’s commitments on VAWG primarily aim to reform the criminal justice system.

Our VAWG manifesto calls for a whole-society approach to ending VAWG – one that looks beyond the criminal justice system and also addresses prevention, housing, health, education and much more, as well as centring those who face the greatest barriers to support and protection. The government therefore has some work to do to ensure its ambition to halve VAWG translates into meaningful action to protect our rights and address inequalities.

There will also be work to do to deliver on the VAWG manifesto’s calls to better protect migrant survivors, as Labour’s plans reflected a worryingly punitive approach to migration; promising greater border security, a new returns and enforcement unit and new returns arrangements. EVAW has joined hundreds of organisations and individuals signing a joint letter to the new Prime Minister calling for a new approach to asylum, and we will be pushing for action on our long-standing calls including an end to the hostile environment and a firewall between statutory services like the police, and the Home Office.

Overall, a new government means new opportunities to create a better world for women and girls. The work starts now!

Andrea Simon, Executive Director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition (EVAW) said:

“A new government brings new opportunities to deliver on the urgent mission to end violence against women and girls. Following over a decade of austerity, the Covid-19 pandemic and a cost-of-living crisis, women and girls and the specialist services that support them are in dire need of change. This week’s new intake of Parliamentarians must stand ready to work with us to change a reality in which too many of us are impacted by male violence.

The Labour Party manifesto included an ambitious and welcome pledge to halve VAWG in a decade, and that promise must be prioritised. We call on the Labour Party to commit to prevention, to fund specialist support services and uphold the rights of Black and minoritised, migrant, and other marginalised survivors. We will also be looking for greater action to tackle the growing threat of image-based abuse.

Creating a future in which women and girls are free from violence and abuse online, in our homes, schools, workplaces, and neighbourhoods depends upon the action taken today. The Labour Party must begin this important work without delay.”

Media contact

Sinead Geoghegan, Head of Communications, 07960 744 502

Date Published
July 09, 2024
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