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Tory leadership contenders 2022: Sunak promises ban on ‘down-blousing’ as Truss vows to outlaw catcalling

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Truss and Sunak eviscerate Tory legacy all by themselves

Rishi Sunak proposed a new “down-blousing” offence while Liz Truss offered a law against misogynistic street harassment as the Tory leadership contenders unveiled plans of crackdown on violence against women and girls.

Mr Sunak said he would create a new emergency task force to hunt down grooming gangs as well as tightening the law to ensure perpetrators remain behind bars for longer.

And Ms Truss said she would make wolf-whistling and cat-calling a criminal offence if elected as prime minister.

The foreign secretary pitched to overhaul the way police deals with abuse in public places through the creation of a new stand-alone criminal offence for street harrassment which would include a range of offences, including leering, intrusive staring, sexual propositioning and indecent exposure.

The announcements come as the pair began their summer tour across the country, taking questions from the party members who would decide the leader succeeding Boris Johnson in the premiership race

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Liz Truss vows to make wolf-whistling and cat-calling illegal

Liz Truss promised a law banning wolf-whistling and cat-calling as she spoke about introducing a National Domestic Abuse Register aimed at breaking the cycle of repeat offending by abusive men.

The National Domestic Abuse Register would cover all forms of domestic abuse, including coercive and controlling behaviour and financial abuse.

Convicted offenders would have to inform the police of arrangements with new partners and their children and officers would be able to share information with the Sex Offenders Register and consider tagging for the most violent domestic abusers.

Conservative leadership candidate Liz Truss attends a meeting as part of her campaign in Woodford Green, in the outskirts of London, Britain 27 July 2022

(Reuters)

Ms Truss also said she would speed up the process of bringing rape cases to court and ensure all courts are equipped with the technology to use pre-recorded video.

“Over the last two years, our nation has been shocked by a number of high-profile murders of women,” said the foreign secretary.

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Sunak proposes a new ‘down-blousing’ offence

Rishi Sunak on Tuesday proposed a new ‘down-blousing’ offence, saying if elected to power, he would create a new emergency taskforce to hunt down grooming gangs, as well as tightening the law to ensure perpetrators remain behind bars for longer.

Mr Sunak said that sexual violence against women and girls should be treated as a “national emergency”.

“As a father of two girls, I want them to be able to go for a walk in the evening or to a shop at night without any fear of threat,” he said.

“As chancellor I boosted support for victims to record levels – quadruple those under Labour – and a ground-breaking new approach to policing which is helping drive up prosecutions of sex offenders.

“As prime minister I will go further. I will make it a criminal offence if you harass women by taking intimate images of them without their consent and will introduce a major crackdown on grooming gangs.”

Read more in this report from Andrew Woodcock:

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Sam Tarry ‘proud’ to have support from John Prescott after sacking

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Rishi Sunak: I was hoping for holiday after quitting as chancellor

Rishi Sunak has denied quitting as chancellor in order to force a leadership contest, insisting that he was “looking forward to a nice holiday” after dramatically resigning earlier this month.

The former chancellor’s bid to succeed Boris Johnson has been undermined by the reluctance of many Tory members to vote for the man they believe “wielded the knife” to oust the prime minister.

Johnson himself has made little secret of his feeling that Sunak’s resignation was a betrayal, and suspicion over his motives have been fuelled by reports that allies were discussing social media strategies for a leadership bid months ago.

Our political editor Andrew Woodcock has more:

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Lack of support for menopausal women driving them out of jobs, warn MPs

A lack of support for women going through the menopause in the workplace is driving female workers out of their jobs and prompting the UK economy to “haemorrhage talent”, MPs warned in a damning new report.

The research, carried out by the Women and Equalities Committee in the Commons, suggested employers’ dearth of provision for menopausal women will have repercussions on the gender pay and pension gaps, as well as the amount of women taking up senior leadership roles.

MPs called for a menopause ambassador to be appointed in an attempt to stop the high numbers of #women leaving the workplace.

The Independent’s women’s correspondent Maya Oppenheim reports:

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Watch: Rishi Sunak says he is the best ‘placed person’ to defeat Keir Starmer in next elections

Rishi Sunak says he is the best ‘placed person’ to defeat Keir Starmer in next elections

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Liz Truss pledges stronger Commonwealth ties to counter ‘malign influence’ of China

Liz Truss has promised to build stronger economic and trade ties with Commonwealth nations to counter China’s “growing malign influence”.

If she succeeds Boris Johnson as prime minister in September, Ms Truss would launch a “new Commonwealth deal”, aimed at strengthening economic ties across the Commonwealth.

Her plan would expedite bilateral trade agreements with Commonwealth partners, which her campaign team argues would supercharge the Commonwealth trade cost advantage, which is already 21 per cent lower on average for trade between Commonwealth countries versus non-members.

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Sunak promises ‘down-blousing’ criminal offence as Tory candidates vie to be tough on violence against women

The contenders for the Conservative leadership were today competing to show they are tough on violence against women and girls, with Rishi Sunak proposing a new “down-blousing” offence and Liz Truss offering a law against misogynistic street harassment.

Mr Sunak said that as prime minister he would create a new emergency taskforce to hunt down grooming gangs, as well as tightening the law to ensure perpetrators remain behind bars for longer.

And Ms Truss said she would rapidly introduce a National Domestic Abuse Register to break the cycle of repeat offending by abusive men.

Our political editor Andrew Woodcock reports:

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Watch: Liz Truss welcomes Rishi Sunak’s pledge to cut VAT on energy bills

Tory leadership race: Liz Truss welcomes Rishi Sunak’s pledge to cut VAT on energy bills

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Boris Johnson allies scoping out new seat for PM, reports claim

Boris Johnson loyalists are reportedly plotting to find a safe Conservative seat for the outgoing prime minister over fears he could lose his Uxbridge constiuency.

The Mirror claims that Mr Johnson was “testing the waters” to find a willing ally who might step down from a seat with a larger Tory majority in looking to a potential return to No 10.

One source told the newspaper: “Boris thinks the Tory party has made a huge mistake getting rid of him and, with time, will come to regret it.

“It might sound deluded but his team thinks he can have another go at prime minister if he holds on.

“But sticking with Uxbridge would be risky. So they’re looking at options”.

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