Sadiq Khan spoke at the ‘March for Women’ on International Women’s Day, one of several events in London that weekend. His Twitter account said “Believe women. Respect women. Promote women. Trust women.” Yet what has Khan done to tackle the desperate situation in funding for women’s services in London? In the summer of 2018 it was recorded that nearly £7m had been cut from women’s refuges since 2010. 24 London boroughs that responded to a survey last year had cut spending. Yet every week two women are killed by a partner or ex-partner.
Nancy Taaffe, Socialist Party member and long-term campaigner says: “We are sick of hearing fine words from politicians about women’s rights, when those same politicians then go into the council chamber, or parliament, or City Hall, and vote for cuts to women’s services and cuts to benefits, and preside over the sell-off of public housing and public land to private property developers.
“We don’t need fine words from Sadiq Khan, we need socialists in City Hall who will hold his feet to the fire and fight tooth and nail for the decent jobs, homes and services we all need. Women need wages we can live on – we say the London Living Wage should be £15 an hour. We need rents we can afford, council homes so that we can escape violence, refuges and specialist services. We need good quality childcare and an NHS that has the funds it really needs.
“Labour councils should refuse to implement one more cut and set emergency budgets based upon what people in their communities need – they should do this using their reserves, their borrowing powers, but most importantly by building a movement of working class people to fight for the money the Tories have stolen from our services.
“Liverpool City Council did it in the 1980s, and won £60m back off, the Thatcher government to build council homes, nurseries and more – so we can do it now.
“That’s what a socialist Mayor would do, and that’s what socialists in City Hall would fight for.”