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Labour promises ‘wholesale review of care system’

Domestic abuse and ‘no fault’ divorce legislation included in manifesto

The Labour Party has promised that, if elected, it would carry out a wholesale review of the care system, reintroduce a Domestic Abuse Bill and legislate on 'no fault' divorce.

The Labour Party's manifesto promises that, if elected, its government would "launch a wholesale review of the care system, including kinship care, considering national standards such as a central register of foster parents and regulation of semi-supported housing, to ensure we meet the needs of every child".

The party also commits to the rebuilding of early intervention services and the replacement of the Troubled Families programme with a Stronger Families programme, refocused on long-term support to reduce the risk of children going into care. A Labour government, says the manifesto, would protect and build on Staying Put for over-18s in care and the Adoption Support Fund.

The party would reintroduce a Domestic Abuse Bill. It would also "create a safer society for women and prioritise domestic abuse as a health issue, introduce ten days of paid leave for survivors of domestic abuse, and ensure women's refuges receive the long-term sustainable funding they need". Misogyny and violence against women and girls would become hate crimes.

New standards for tackling domestic and sexual abuse and violence would be set, and a Commissioner for Violence against Women and Girls would be appointed. The government would establish an independent review into low rape prosecution rates and a National Refuge Fund, and ensure financial stability for rape crisis centres. It would also improve the safety of the family court system for domestic violence victims and prohibit their cross-examination by their abuser. Protections for victims of so-called revenge porn would be introduced.

Labour would introduce a no-fault divorce procedure.

On legal aid, the part says that it would restore all early legally aid advice, including for housing, social security, family and immigration cases. It would recruit "hundreds of new community lawyers, promote public legal education and build an expanded network of law centres". It would consult on the civil legal aid means-test levels.

Court closures and cuts to staff would be stopped, and a review of the courts reform programme would be undertaken.

The manifesto further commits Labour to reforming the Gender Recognition Act 2004 to introduce self-declaration for transgender people.

A Labour government would fully implement new laws on equal marriage in Northern Ireland "so that same sex couples are no longer treated as second-class citizens".

For the manifesto, click here.

22/11/19