Conservative mayoral candidate Susan Hall pledges to appoint women’s commissioner if elected

More needs to be done on women's safety in London, says Conservative mayoral candidate Susan Hall.
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Conservative mayoral candidate Susan Hall has pledged to appoint a women’s commissioner if she is elected in May.

The Tory hopeful said she wanted to see more done to protect women’s safety in the capital, three years on from the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer.

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Ms Hall, in her first major policy announcement ahead of the May 2 election, called for more specialist officers in boroughs, and a stronger response to sexual harassment on the Tube.

She has promised to put more money, including funds unspent in the budget of London's Violence Reduction Unit, into women's refuges and places of safety.

Recent Transport for London (TfL) figures show there was a 6% rise in sexual assaults on the Tube, but figures are not kept for harassment.

Ms Hall's plans to tackle that have been endorsed by Instagram influencer Georgie Clark who told the BBC about being sexually harassed on the London Underground three years ago.

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Ms Clarke claims that when she described her ordeal to station staff, she was handed a leaflet and told to report it to the British Transport Police.

In a conversation with Ms Hall, posted on X, she said “the minute I see something that feels off to me, I will abandon my trip” and find a different route.

She added: “I feel like it’s impacted my life so much, from this one incident. I don’t feel like I got much justice. I have been left with a lifetime of making different choices to make myself feel safe.” Get the latest headlines, straight to your inbox, with LondonWorld’s free emails

Susan Hall, the Conservative London mayoral candidate. Credit: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images.Susan Hall, the Conservative London mayoral candidate. Credit: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images.
Susan Hall, the Conservative London mayoral candidate. Credit: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images.

Ms Hall said: "Women deserve to feel safe in London, but Sadiq Khan just isn't listening to women like Georgie. I am listening, which is why as mayor I will get a grip of crime and make our city safer for women.

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"My plan will put more police officers on patrol, provide better support for those escaping domestic violence, put specialist VAWG (violence against women and girls) officers in every borough, and improve safety on the London Underground."

A Labour spokesperson said: "This election is a close two-horse race between Sadiq and an extreme Tory candidate, who has herself said she is not a feminist and who only last week suggested police misconduct against women should be dealt with behind closed doors. The Tory government has imposed £1 billion cuts on the Met with a devastating impact on the services that keep women safe."

Commenting on Ms Hall’s policy on Thursday, Sadiq Khan told LondonWorld: “Londoners know their experience of the Conservatives. They know that the last Conservative mayor cut the policing budget by more than 28% both in real terms cuts and cash terms cuts.

“Londoners know the experience of a national Conservative government is a cut in the Met Police budget by 32%, more than a billion pounds taken from London’s policing.

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“Why should this Conservative be any different? We also know that this Conservative has voted against many of our policies that have supported London’s communities. For example voted against the budget that gave £163m pounds to address the issue of violence against women and girls, voted against my budgets that have doubled the investment in the policing from City Hall, so it's now more than £1.148 billion, voted against some of our policies like the Independent Victims Commissioner.”

Green mayoral candidate Zoe Garbett said: "As a woman living in London this is a welcome start. If we want to make women in our city safer, we need to deal with the significant levels of mistrust that many women have for the police.

"All women must be confident when reporting crime. It's also essential that we tackle the rampant hatred of women in our society so we can prevent harm."

Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate Rob Blackie said: "The Conservative record on women's safety is absolutely appalling and Susan Hall has said that sexist police should be dealt with behind closed doors, which is guaranteed to make fixing the Met harder."