Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Boris Johnson breaks promise to rape crisis centres

Boris Johnson today admitted that he will break his promise to fund three new rape crisis centres in London.

In Boris's now deleted manifesto, he wrote that:

"It is nothing short of a disgrace that the government has cut the funding for Rape Crisis Centres in London, and I will release funds that Ken Livingstone has earmarked for his own personal press officers to be spent on providing long-term funding for new Rape Crisis Centres in London so the victims of this horrendous crime are no longer ignored...

"London does not have enough Rape Crisis Centres, because of woefully inadequate funding from the Labour government. We will call upon the government to provide extra funding for this vital service. Additionally, we will act immediately to provide long-term funding for four Rape Crisis Centres in London...

"In 2007/08 the budget for Mr. Livingstone’s Media and Marketing team was more than £3.6 million. A reduction of this by 20% would yield the £744,000 which would fund our commitment to dramatically increasing access to support services for rape victims.

"Quite simply, we believe that it is more important to fund Rape Crisis Centres than press officers."

Yet when Boris came into power he alloted over half a million pounds to his team of campaign members, spinners and public relations bods.

Within months he had cut £511,000 from his rape crisis budget.

Campaigners will now have to turn to our 'woefully inadequate' government to fulfill his pledge.


-Links and Reactions- 

9 comments:

Tom said...

Trebles all round for Guto Harri and his hard-working PR bunnies...

AdamB said...

Whoops, I forgot to turn the comment moderation off when I returned. It's off now...

Joanne McCartney AM (press release) said...

As Boris Johnson launched his violence against women strategy, Joanne McCartney said: "The Mayor is presenting himself as a defender of women's rights but the reality is he's betraying them by breaking another key promise. To be honest it was pretty cheap to suggest that London's urgent need for more rape crisis provision could be solved by sacking a few press officers. Boris needs to learn that when you make promises, Londoners expect you to keep them.

Commenting on "The Way Forward", Joanne McCartney said: "After a year in charge Boris could have done better than this. While there are some good points on what the criminal justice system can and should do, we are none the wiser about what the Mayor himself is doing, what resources he is putting or why he has slashed the funding for rape crisis centres. We need to see action, not warm words and hot air."

Anonymous said...

There's still money to pay off Bob Crow though:

http://www.boriswatch.co.uk/2009/04/20/rmt-boris-caves-in/

AdamB said...

Yes I saw that. It's the easy route to a no-strike agreement. Just agree to their every demand, and they'll never strike.

Tom said...

I think you underestimate Bob Crow there, Adam.

Jenny Jones (press release) said...

The London mayor has so far failed to come up with the money to deliver on his promise of three new rape crisis centres in London. Only £233,000 a year was included in this year’s budget towards the centres. Jenny Jones was only one of two Assembly members who supported an amendment to the budget in February which would have provided funding for all the centres.

Jenny Jones said:

“If you promise something you must jolly well get on and deliver it. There's a lot of back-tracking going on and a lot of women need these centres and need them immediately. Women in London have been let down by the police over the Worboys case and other investigations into rape. Now the Mayor is letting them down over his promise of more support.”

Anonymous said...

Boris originally made the promise over rape crisis centres to Liz Kelly, Chair of the End Violence Against Women Campaign which has been oddly quiet on the matter.

Perhaps this is because she was paid to write his strategy in her other role as head of the Child and Woman Abuse Studiies Unit and London Metropolitan University. My! Feminists come cheap these days.

AdamB said...

Yes there's no mention of it here which I guess was the point Bindel was making in the piece linked above. I wasn't at the launch so I can't say who pointed out what, or what Kelly has or has not said to Boris. Their involvement does appear to be the equivalent of Greenwash given his fundamental betrayal of what he promised them though. Perhaps they're hoping he will change his mind during the consultation process. It wouldn't be the first time.