Labour appoints first MP to tackle violence against women

Seema Malhotra with Ed Miliband Seema Malhotra's appointment shows the importance Labour attaches to the issue, says Ed Miliband

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Labour has appointed its first shadow minister for preventing violence against women and girls.

Seema Malhotra MP said there was a "shocking" level of such violence in Britain and abroad.

Her role will involve working on Labour's Women's Safety Commission, which will put forward new laws if the party wins the next election.

The Feltham and Heston MP will look at issues including trafficking, female genital mutilation and prostitution.

She will also report on sexual violence and forced marriages.

Ms Malhotra, who will work with shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper, said she was proud to take on the role.

'Real difference'

"It is significant that Labour has made this issue such a priority and I look forward to working with colleagues to try to make a real difference to women who have experienced huge trauma in their lives," she said.

"The level of violence against women in Britain, and indeed the world, is shocking and too little is being done to prevent these crimes, support the victims and bring the perpetrators to justice."

Labour leader Ed Miliband said the appointment was "another indication of the importance a Labour government will place on tackling violence against women and girls".

"Yvette has rightly put this at the heart of her vision for the Home Office and I look forward to continuing working with her and Seema to ensure a Labour government can make a real difference to the lives of the victims of these terrible crimes."

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