I do absolutely support that and I will come to it in a moment but, to deal with the first part of the hon. Gentleman’s question, he seemed to imply that I did not understand the value of war memorials. I absolutely do. The difference is that this Bill has now been extended to every form of memorial, including statues of slave traders. It really sums up the problem with the Government’s approach. If they genuinely wanted to introduce proportionate measures to protect war memorials, they could have done so and not introduced the measures that they actually have.
I come to the sentencing elements of the Bill. It is of course right to extend whole-life orders to cover the premeditated murder of a child. The tragic murder of Ellie Gould on
The Opposition also say that tougher sentencing on its own is not enough. We know that wider change across our society is needed, and we know that the Government who have decimated our public services over the past 11 years have totally lost sight of addressing the causes of crime as well, with the sadly predictable consequences of rising violent crime in every single police force area of England and Wales. The Bill is shamefully short of measures to address the unacceptable violence women and girls face. In that, it fails woefully to meet the urgent need for change.