Sarah Everard case: Britain needs cultural change says Prime Minister Boris Johnson

WION Web Team
London, United Kingdom Published: Mar 17, 2021, 06:40 PM(IST)

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during the weekly question time debate at the House of Commons in London, Britain Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

A serving police officer is set to go on trial in October accused of the kidnap and murder of Everard, whose killing sparked anger and soul-searching about what police, government and society can do to stop male violence against women

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday that there needed to be a cultural change in attitudes in Britain towards women after the murder of Londoner Sarah Everard prompted a debate over how the country deals with male violence against women.

During the weekly Prime Minister's Questions session, opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer called the murder a "watershed moment" that demanded cross-party support to achieve cultural change.

Also see| 'Men, do better': Londoners hold vigil for Sarah Everard; Police revolts

Putting aside party differences temporarily, Johnson said he fully agreed with Starmer and said that the issue of women's safety would not be resolved without widespread cultural and social change.

A serving police officer is set to go on trial in October accused of the kidnap and murder of Everard, whose killing sparked anger and soul-searching about what police, government and society can do to stop male violence against women.

The 33-year-old was abducted as she walked home from a friend's house in south London on March 3, with her body later found in woodland around 50 miles away in southeast England.

'Unwavering'

An official cause of death has not yet been given, but a coroner's inquest is due to open on Thursday.

At a cabinet meeting Tuesday chaired by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the government pledged to be "unwavering" in its commitment to tackle violence against women.

Johnson on Monday headed a meeting of his criminal justice taskforce to make new recommendations to improve safety.

But critics have objected that the taskforce does not include any ministers with responsibility for gender equality, and that criminal justice legislation currently making its way through parliament does not go far enough on the issue. 

More socially distanced solidarity vigils have been staged in British cities in recent days, as well as in Irish cities including the capital Dublin, where up to 200 people gathered Tuesday. 

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