Children Act 1989 (Amendment) (Female Genital Mutilation) Bill [Lords]

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:35 pm on 11th March 2019.

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Photo of Zac Goldsmith Zac Goldsmith Conservative, Richmond Park 7:35 pm, 11th March 2019

My hon. Friend makes a good point. Nimco is effectively my Whip. Most of what I do in this place in relation to FGM is down to her wagging finger telling me exactly what and what not to do. At a recent event with her, someone described me as “Nimco’s intern”, but it is a great honour to be her intern. She is an extraordinary campaigner, and if I can help her in any way, it is an honour to do so.

Members will be familiar with the horrors of FGM, but I think they bear repeating to remind us why this issue matters so much and why it should matter to everyone here. According to the World Health Organisation, female genital mutilation includes

“all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.”

FGM is almost always carried out on very young children, rarely by medical professionals and rarely with pain relief.