Domestic abuse proposals expected to be revived in Queen’s Speech, MPs hear

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New proposals to protect domestic abuse survivors are expected to be “revived very quickly” in the new parliamentary session, a Cabinet minister has said.

Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg insisted Boris Johnson is “fully behind” the Domestic Abuse Bill and indicated it will be among the measures included in the Queen’s Speech.

His remarks came after Labour’s Tracy Brabin (Batley and Spen) pressed him to explain how women will be supported given the Bill will fall when Parliament prorogues next week.

The minister said the issues raised are of “fundamental importance”, adding: “The Prime Minister is fully behind the Domestic Abuse Bill.

“I can’t tell you what is precisely going to be in the Queen’s Speech but I think I can give a steer that it’d be a great surprise to all of us if this Bill was not revived very quickly as I think the concern (Ms Brabin) has is shared across the House.”

The Bill was introduced to Parliament earlier this year and seeks to give better protection to those fleeing violence by placing a new legal duty on councils to provide secure homes for them and their children.

It would also introduce the first legal Government definition of domestic abuse, which would include economic abuse and controlling and manipulative non-physical behaviour.

A domestic abuse commissioner to champion survivors is also proposed.

Labour MP Jess Phillips (Birmingham Yardley) (pictured) said the Government had previously promised £90 million for refuge funding.

She said: “I note this week that not a single penny piece was given to refuge funding in the comprehensive spending review so I find it difficult to know what to believe when it’s being said in the despatch box now.”

She called for a commitment that the money and the Bill will appear in the Queen’s Speech.

Mr Rees-Mogg replied: “The general principle is that if commitments have been made to spend money from this despatch box, those commitments are incumbent on the Government and they were taken and they continue.

“However, I can not guarantee spending commitments.

“I am not the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in case you hadn’t noticed.

“I share your concern it is a very important issue and, if it satisfies you, I will write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to clarify.”

Copyright (c) PA Media Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Dominic Lipinski / PA Wire.