Lynne Featherstone hits out at UKIP’s FGM policy

Lynne Featherstone has, rightly, reacted with horror to UKIP’s proposal to “implement school-based medical checks on girls from groups at high risk of suffering FGM. These should take place annually and whenever they return from trips overseas.”

Lynne, in her work as Home Office and International Development Minister, changed the law to tackle FGM. She said:

UKIP’s approach is horrifically heavy-handed and will alienate the very communities we are trying to reach out to. We should be training our teachers and other providers such as community experts to identify those at risk and teaching children themselves that FGM is wrong and to come forward if they fear for themselves or a friend.

In Coalition, we put a statutory duty on frontline workers to report concerns of FGM – we need them to have the confidence to do so, and this means better training. Research shows that school teachers are still too scared to talk about FGM, honour-based violence and forced marriage, let alone report it. This is where we should concentrate our efforts not forcing girls to undergo invasive medical examinations.

UKIP seem to try and out-do Le Pen with right-wing policies that are insensitive and frankly outrageous.

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8 Comments

  • Lorenzo Cherin 24th Apr '17 - 11:23pm

    Well said Baroness Feartherstone ! A typically sensible reaction from our front bench stalwart , a typically ludicrous policy ,from a typically preposterous UKIP !

  • Lorenzo Cherin 24th Apr '17 - 11:24pm

    Apologies to Lynne for the spelling !

  • How many years do we have to wait for the first FGM prosecution in the UK?

    Surely protection of innocent children has priority over so called cultural sensitivities?

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 25th Apr '17 - 6:07am

    This proposal is horrifying. To force a young girl to undergo a “medical check” of this sort against her will, would be a form of assault.
    Ukip seem to be becoming even more openly racist. It is clear that this proposal is not motivated by any real concern for girls who may be at risk of FGM. It’s intention is to incite prejudice against immigrant communities, and win support from racist voters.
    As a party, we must condemn this, and Ukip’s other recent racist proposals, including the burqa ban.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 25th Apr '17 - 2:15pm

    John

    You show that a desire to protect can lead to disaster if not done in a sensible way . I do not know if you can see that a policy like this is racist and counter productive.

    Catherine

    Listen regularly if you do not, to the greatest exponent of brave and rare sense on such things , and a member of our party , and former parliamentary candidate, Maajid Nawaz, on LBC, Saturdays, and Sundays 12 to 3 lunchtime. Our party should make more of him, he is a terrific man.

    As is your norm , you talk such rare sense yourself herein.

  • The step about routine examinations is one too far. Everything else is about right and far less severe than the control of Christians in most Muslim countries.
    There is a price to be paid for living in the UK, no one is forced to come here. In order to be welcomed anywhere , it’s necessary to observe the cultural norms of the host nation.

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 25th Apr '17 - 8:59pm

    Lorenzo, Thank you, I will listen to Maajid Nawaz on LBC

  • Richard Underhill 12th Jul '17 - 5:00pm

    Home Office caseworkers can be horrified by FGM, which David Cameron agreed at PMQ is torture.
    On 5/7/2017 a passionate MP asked former Home Secretary Theresa May about a constituent’s case in which she, as an MP, had not had a reply. Theresa May replied about FGM as a practice. She is strongly against, but did not answer about the lack of a reply. The issue was not raised at PMQ on 21/7/2017 in the PM’s absence.
    The applicant had been interviewed on TV. She is facing removal to Nigeria, and claims a fear that her daughter, aged three, would be subject to FGM at the insistence of her husband / ex-husband.
    Putting aside issues of credibility, which cannot be judged here, the legal argument is likely to be about whether there is a “sufficiency of protection” from the Nigerian authorities in protecting its population. Nigerian legislation and the effectiveness of enforcement would be at issue.

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