Sir Keir told the PM that the 33-year-old’s death needed to be “a watershed moment to change how we as a society treat women and girls,” as he urged him to support legislation offering more rights to victims of sexual violence.
The Prime Minister agreed with the importance of the issue, arguing that politicians needed to work together for “cultural and social change”.
However, as BBC Newsnight’s Lewis Goodall noted, the session rolled on for 21 minutes before a woman’s voice was heard.
Was 21 minutes into PMQs before a woman was heard from (Caroline Lucas)- despite the debate being dominated about w… https://t.co/AAwbgocD90
Although the Met argued that they broke up the gathering due to coronavirus restrictions, the police force has faced criticism from senior MPs across the political spectrum.
Minutes after Lucas’ comments, Labour’s Charlotte Nichols also questioned the PM on the low rate of rape convictions in the UK.
She told the Commons: “I have parliamentary privilege, I can name the men who have hurt me, but millions of women in this country don’t even have that.
“Stuck between a criminal system where only 1.4 per cent of reported offences result in charges being laid and where too many survivors who speak out are pursued through the civil courts by abusers to silence them. Can the Prime Minister advise how women are meant to get justice?”
Johnson responded by acknowledging that more needs to be done to tackle “the fundamental issue of casual everyday sexism” towards women.
Goodall also noted that of the 21 MPs who spoke during the full PMQs session, 15 were men compared to just six women – a figure which he acknowledged was partly down to the ratio of male/female MPs (66 per cent male to 34 per cent female) in Parliament.
It also doesn’t help that the leaders of the two largest parties, the Commons Speaker and the Westminster leader of the third-largest party (the SNP’s Ian Blackford) are all male...
To be clear, this isn't down to the Speaker. There's a ballot for PMQs. The first 8 of 9 questions are the exclusiv… https://t.co/vlpsObxtLD