Kill the Bill protesters in April 2021. Image: Gareth Morris / Extinction Rebellion
Peers made some key changes to the policing bill on Monday night when the controversial legislation made its way through the House of Lords.
The bill, titled in full as the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, proposes to make major changes to crime and justice in England and Wales. Its opponents say the bill will curtail key freedoms such as the right to protest, and “Kill the Bill” protests have been taking place at regular intervals throughout the last few months.
Government ministers saw particularly controversial parts of the bill defeated in the House of Lords, including clauses on preventing “noisy” protests.
Here’s everything you need to know about last night’s votes on the bill – and where the legislation may go from here.
The government had proposed allowing police to break up protests if they’re deemed to be too noisy and disruptive – but peers turned down this measure by 261 votes to 166.
Other protest measures were defeated too
Peers rejected a host of measures intended to curtail protest rights, including making it illegal for protesters to “lock on” to objects – a measure introduced in response to Insulate Britain protesters glueing themselves to roads.
Measures to criminalise interference with national infrastructure and ban those with a history of causing “serious disruption” from protesting were voted down.
Peers voted to make misogyny a hate crime
The government suffered another defeat in the form of an amendment added to the bill against their wishes.
Former victims’ commissioner Baroness Newlove added a proposal to make misogyny a hate crime in England and Wales – a measure the government had previously rejected.
This proposal would enable judges to levy stronger penalties if motivation for a crime was deemed to be driven by prejudice against women.
Baroness Newlove said: “It is perverse that, despite three million crimes being committed against women in just three years, our legal and policing systems do not routinely recognise what we all know is blindingly obvious: the deep-rooted hostility towards women that motivates many of these crimes.”
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