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Sadiq Khan accused of ‘failing’ women at Sarah Everard vigil – ‘Lack of leadership’

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The vigil for Sarah was held last weekend despite police warning it would breach coronavirus regulations. Pictures and video footage of the event showed what started as a peaceful vigil turned ugly in the evening as officers clashed with crowds and made several arrests.

Tabitha Morton, deputy leader of the Women’s Equality Party, said Sadiq Khan, who is also London’s Police and Crime Commissioner, showed a lack of leadership amid the unfolding events.

When asked whether the Mayor of London had failed women and girls and those who attended Sarah’s vigil, Ms Morton told Express.co.uk: “Short answer yes. I think they did.

“There was a lot of blaming each other instead of taking any responsibility.

“I think in moments like this there is an opportunity to show real leadership and I think whether you look at the Met Police or you look at Sadiq Khan and his office both showed a lack of leadership and a lack of listening to women.

“The tragic death of Sarah is one in a very long line of women dying and women being abused and violence that affects women every single day.”

Sarah, 33, vanished when she was walking home in Clapham on March 3. Her body was found a week later in Kent woodland.

A Met police officer has been accused of the kidnap and murder of Sarah and is due to go on trial in October.

According to the Femicide Census, 119 women were killed by men who they did not know between 2008 and 2018.

However, the Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick claimed it is “incredibly rare for a woman to be abducted from our streets”.

Ms Morton explained how woman across the UK experience fears of male violence.

READ MORE: Sadiq Khan faces calls to resign over Sarah Everard vigil

Ms Morton was not at the vigil but explained how she spoke to the organisers who tried to work with the Met police to plan a Covid safe event.

She highlighted how the events that unfolded on Saturday evening were “a direct consequence” of Sadiq Khan and the Met police “not doing the planning.”

Ms Morton added: “If you’d have had a staggered vigil with marshals etc. then the numbers would have been controlled. Anyone there who was there to start trouble would have been dealt with.

“So I think you have to keep going back to the fact that they just didn’t want to do that piece of work in the first place, and it’s just for me a lack of leadership and it goes back to this wider picture of the police.”

In a statement released on Saturday evening after the vigil in Clapham Common, Assistant Met Police Commissioner Helen Ball said: “Part of the reason I am speaking to you tonight is because we accept that the actions of our officers have been questioned.

“We absolutely did not want to be in a position where enforcement action was necessary. But we were placed in this position because of the overriding need to protect people’s safety.

“Let me end by saying that across the Met, we review every single event that we police to see if there are lessons that can be learned. This one will be no different.”

On Wednesday, Deputy Met Police Commissioner Sir Stephen House told City Hall his officers were “doing their duty as they saw it” and refused to apologise for the officers’ actions at the vigil.

Express.co.uk approached the Mayor of London for comment.



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