Rape victim to challenge Davis

David Davis faces new by-election threat from rape victim
David Davis faces new by-election threat from rape victim

A rape victim angry at David Davis' alleged lack of interest in sexual violence is to challenge the former shadow home secretary in the Haltemprice and Howden by-election.

Jill Saward, who was raped in 1986, is critical of Mr Davis' decision to fight a by-election on the single issue of pre-charge detention.

Her name is among those on the final list of candidates, revealed yesterday at 16:00 BST by the acting returning officer, and gives hope to Labour supporters that Mr Davis may after all face some significant opposition on his civil liberties stance.

"I'm not a politician," she writes on her website.


"But when a shadow home secretary says nothing at all about such an important issue as sexual violence which affects thousands of people each year; and then resigns over an issue of limited pre-charge detention which may not affect anybody at all - then somebody's got their priorities wrong and somebody needs to get the issue of rape on to the agenda."

Ms Saward is deeply critical of Mr Davis' actions. She says he should have accepted "the will of parliament" on the 42-day maximum limit for pre-charge detention and attacks his stance on "a great swathe of other public protection measures".

She rejects criticism of the 'surveillance society', arguing CCTV is important to ensure criminals are caught. The DNA database, attacked by Mr Davis as another sign of slowly-eroding civil liberties, is also strongly supported.

"David Davis appears to be very concerned about 'British liberty'. I want men and women - including children - to be at liberty to walk the streets of our towns and cities without fear of violence in general - and sexual violence in particular; and to feel safe in their own homes and workplaces."

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