Labour MP urges colleagues to '˜be the voices' of murdered women

Politicians have been urged to 'be the voices' of murdered women including Jo Cox, as an MP listed the names of every woman killed by a man in the past year.

The murdered Batley and Spen Jo Cox

MPs listened in silence as Jess Phillips spent around five minutes listing the names of every woman murdered by a man in the UK since International Women’s Day last year.

Her voice broke as she read the name of her Labour colleague and friend Jo Cox, who was murdered in her Batley and Spen constituency last year.

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The Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley said: “Let these women be our inspiration, let these women be the ones who drive us.

“I would ask each and every one of us to remember these women, one of whom was one of us.

“We must remember them as we make our decisions, use out votes and our voices.

“We have a responsibility to be the voices of these women now they are gone.

“On this International Women’s Day let’s remember why we are all here and let’s raise our voices.”

Leading a backbench debate about International Women’s Day in the Commons, Ms Phillips said she wanted MPs “to hear their names and feel their pain” as she listed 123 women who had died by violence.

Among the names were children’s author Helen Bailey, who was murdered by her fiance, and Scottish schoolgirl Paige Doherty, who was stabbed to death by shop owner John Leathem after she stopped in his delicatessen.

She urged politicians to send “a rallying cry” to the world about the hardships and injustices faced by women, saying: “With each passing day it seems that right now, the women out there need to hear us in here and how we support them more than ever before.”

Ms Phillips said recent plans to bring in compulsory sex education in schools made her want to “cartwheel down the halls” with joy and she hailed proposals to force the Government to ratify the Istanbul Convention to prevent violence against women.