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Vice 'hypocrisy' claim.

A Birmingham MP has accused shadow Home Secretary of Ann Widdecombe of 'gross hypocrisy' over the city's prostitution problem.

Edgbaston MP Gisela Stuart voiced her anger at Miss Widdecombe after the senior Tory demanded stronger police powers to deal with streetwalkers in the Birmingham constituency.

Miss Widdecombe faces suspension from the Commons after leading a 'student-style sit-in' at the House to try and derail a Government's Bill which contains a crackdown on kerb crawlers. 'Ann Widdecombe tried to wreck the Police Bill which makes kerb crawling an arrestable offence for the first time. For her to now turn around and say that not enough is being done to tackle prostitution in Birmingham is breathtaking hypocrisy,' said Mrs Stuart.

'It's the same with anti-social behaviour orders which have been used with great effect against some street walkers in the city. But Miss Widdecombe wants them all ripped-up..'

They haven't got their act together at all.

'She was calling for more bobbies on the beat as well, which is of course a good idea. But the latest figures show the West Midlands has had a bigger boost to police ranks since the last election than almost anywhere else in England.'

Mrs Stuart said she was working with city council leader Albert Bore and local police on new measures to combat prostitution in Edgbaston.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Mar 28, 2001
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