Clapham vigil

Voting down the police bill could backfire on Keir Starmer

Labour has decided today that it will be opposing the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill when it has its second reading in the Commons tomorrow. Some of the party’s MPs say they had been told they would be whipped to abstain on this stage of the Bill, but following the scenes on Clapham Common last night, shadow frontbenchers have rushed to say they will vote against. I understand that the party hadn’t reached a firm position on whipping until today, though there had been discussions within the PLP about what the position would be. But there was a discussion this morning between Sir Keir Starmer, Shadow Home Secretary Nick

Women have lost faith in the Metropolitan police

Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive living in Brixton, and a ‘wonderful daughter and sister’, was killed earlier this month. Last night, the women trying to remember Sarah at a vigil in Clapham Common were dragged and arrested by Metropolitan police officers. Not only did this show poor judgement, it was an unnecessary and careless use of force. Sarah Everard was just trying to walk home, the women out last night were just trying to mourn her. The Met’s chief, Cressida Dick, said after Sarah Everard’s disappearance that ‘Every woman should feel safe to walk our streets without fear of harassment or violence.’ Yet on Saturday night, her officers disturbed

It’s too early to call for Cressida Dick’s scalp

Politics, at its most pathetic, is the Downing Street pack screaming at Prime Ministers, ‘Will you resign?’. At its best, politics and political journalism build up an unanswerable case against a miscreant and take a scalp. The scenes at Clapham Common, last night, were shocking. I have, however, worked in TV news for long enough to know that the cutting room is a minefield. As with vox-pops, the selection and rejection of pictures and voices is one of the most powerful editorial forces in a newsroom. I wasn’t at Clapham Common last night, nor were most in the mass-ranks of social media. Suffice to say, what I saw on social

Nick Tyrone

The Met badly mishandled the Clapham Common vigil

A vigil was held last night on Clapham Common to both honour the memory of Sarah Everard and to protest about the societal backdrop to her death. People were told to stay away by the police beforehand – they came anyhow. Unfortunately, the whole thing turned ugly as the London Met responded in a heavy-handed manner, clashing with those who attended, leading to at least five arrests. What made it all the worse was that the Duchess of Cambridge showed up at the vigil, giving it the feeling of an occasion that should have been tolerated. The reaction for some to this incident will be, ‘They were told to stay