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London mayor Sadiq Khan has issued a call for misogyny to be recognised as a hate crime.
The mayor said that female gender should be included in the list of protected characteristics treated as aggravating circumstances, which currently includes disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity.
Mr Khan, who is fighting for re-election to City Hall in the 7 May election, said he would also back moves to end a two-tier “hierarchy of hate crimes”, which sees incidents aggravated by racial or religious hatred prosecuted more harshly than those based on sexual orientation.
Speaking ahead of a Women of the World mayoral debate, Mr Khan said: “The safety of all Londoners is my first priority and as a proud feminist I find it simply unacceptable that any woman or girl in our city should experience these devastating crimes.
“I want all women to feel safe in London, whether they are going to work or enjoying the culture and entertainment that London has to offer. It is time for every Londoner to call out sexist and misogynistic attitudes wherever they encounter them – in the workplace, at school, on the streets or on public transport.
“I am proud to support calls to recognise misogyny as a hate crime and for all hate crimes based on protected characteristics to be treated equally.
“This election is a two horse race between me – standing up for our values – and the Tory candidate. That’s why I’m asking Londoners to lend me their vote – so I can continue standing up for our city and being a proud feminist in City Hall.”
The Crown Prosecution Service defines a hate crime as a ‘range of criminal behaviour where the perpetrator is motivated by hostility or demonstrates hostility towards the victim’s disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity.’ Mr Khan’s manifesto will call for misogyny to be classified as a hate crime too.
The Law Commission is currently conducting a review of hate crime legislation, including an assessment of whether it should be extended to include a wider range of sex or gender characteristics, age, physical characteristics or membership of specific sub-cultures.
The Commission has already identified misogyny as a possible concern which could be covered by the legislation. It is expected to report in 2021.