Baroness Chakrabarti missed a crucial House of Lords vote on the government’s controversial new knife crime measures, which are opposed by Labour. The government won the vote by 143 votes to 82.
Charkrabati, who has been helping to coordinate Labour’s opposition to Sajid Javid’s new knife crime prevention orders in her role as shadow attorney general, is understood to have gone home before the vote took place.
Along with shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott, she has been leading Labour’s opposition to the measures, which Abbott has criticised for doing too little to address the underlying causes of knife crime. Abbott told Parliament earlier this month: “Suspects as young as 12 will be on curfew and deprived of their liberty.”
The proposed new measures are contained in amendments to the Offensive Weapons Bill but they’ve proved controversial because critics say they will criminalise children who haven’t committed a crime.
Javid has argued the new powers are needed to tackle an epidemic of knife crime in UK cities.