‘Wife-beater Asbo’ backed by Johnson

By Alex Stevenson

Those who subject their partners to domestic violence will face Asbo-style domestic violence prevention orders, Alan Johnson has announced.

In his speech to the Labour party’s autumn conference in Brighton, the home secretary said he was bringing forward measures which would allow police to stop the aggressor returning to not just the house, but to the immediate area surrounding it.

The aggressor would then be forced to remain out of the vicinity for a set period, while the victim would receive support including counselling and “practical options for getting away from a violent partner”.

Mr Johnson admitted in his speech breaches of Asbos needed to be prosecuted. His comments came amid the politicisation of the death of Fiona Pilkington and her disabled daughter.

Ms Pilkington killed herself and her daughter by setting fire to their car in a lay-by in Leicestershire after suffering ten years of abuse at the hands of youths on their estate.

“It’s an exceptional case but it’s one that should never have happened and there must be no excuses, no complacency, no blaming the media because we don’t like the facts they report,” Mr Johnson said.

The home secretary is widely regarded as being one of the leading challengers to the Labour leadership in the event of Gordon Brown’s political demise.

He paid tribute to the prime minister in his speech, saying he had “led the way in addressing the biggest global economic and political challenges of our age”.

But as he described the challenge facing Labour in winning a fourth term in power he pointed out that this was something which the British public had “never had the opportunity to contemplate before”.

He finished: “Only Labour can offer hope and opportunity against Cameron’s Notting Hill version of laissez-faire.”