Heart-breaking moment Commons falls silent as MP reads names of every woman killed by a man last year


THE Commons fell silent today as an MP read out the names of every woman killed by a man in the last year.

The heart-breaking moment came as MPs gathered to mark International Women’s Day.

Labour’s Jess Phillips read the list of 108 women out in the Commons today

MPs fell silent as they listened to the five-minute long address

Zara Aleena was dragged into a driveway and beaten to deathZara Aleena was dragged into a driveway and beaten to death

Ministers were warned that “warm words are not enough” as they demanded more action to tackle violence against women.

Labour MP Jess Phillips lead the emotional tribute today, which she has done every year since she was elected to Parliament in 2015.

The youngest on the list was 15-year-old Holly Newton, from Northumberland, and the oldest was 92-year-old Anne Woodbridge, from Weston-super-Mare.

Murdered aspiring lawyer Zara Aleena, was among those remembered in the chamber.

She was sexually assaulted and killed by a recently released offender in June last year.

MPs applauded after Ms Phillips, MP for Birmingham Yardley, completed her five-minute long address.

She said: “I have read hundreds of inquest reports and domestic homicide reviews over the years.

“Everyone pushes for lessons to be learned, tells us next time it will be different. It never is.

“This week alone I have spoken to a woman whose perpetrator turned up at her home while on bail for trying to attack her with a weapon. A call to the police left her waiting seven days for a response.

“Femicide is currently not mentioned in the domestic abuse strategy. This is not OK.

“I urge the Government to hurry up and release the long overdue sentencing review into domestic homicide. There’s no reason why we are still waiting. All these women died in the time we have been promised this review.”

Ms Phillips read out the names of 108 women, saying: “Lessons are not being learned. Warm words are no longer enough.

“We honour these women not by reading out their names, not by doing any of the promises that happen in this place, we honour them with deeds not with words.”

Julie Devey who co-founded the campaigning organisation Killed Women – said today she and fellow bereaved families will never give up demanding more action from ministers to help save lives.

Her daughter Poppy Devey Waterhouse was brutally murdered by her ex-partner after their three-year relationship ended.

Joe Atkinson was jailed in 2019 for life with a minimum of 15 years and 310 days.

Ms Devey said today: “We gather here now listening to this year’s needless death toll and ask where is the action, where is the urgency, where is the justice?

“As bereaved families, we have faced endless failures from the agencies that were supposed to deliver justice for our daughters, or protect our mothers, aunts, nieces and loved ones.

“We will not stop demanding action from Government to save women’s lives. We will be a force to be reckoned with.”