“BORIS Johnson was accused of “betrayal” today as it was revealed he has ditched plans for three rape crisis centres…
…today the Mayor admitted that funding for the three new centres, which would supplement an existing centre in Croydon, would not be found in his budget.
His office said he was “assessing rape crisis need in London” and would ask the Government or councils to stump up the cash.”
In Johnson’s now-deleted manifesto, he stated that…
“It is nothing short of a disgrace that the government has cut the funding for Rape Crisis Centres in London, and I will release funds that Ken Livingstone has earmarked for his own personal press officers to be spent on providing long-term funding for new Rape Crisis Centres in London so the victims of this horrendous crime are no longer ignored…
“London does not have enough Rape Crisis Centres, because of woefully inadequate funding from the Labour government. We will call upon the government to provide extra funding for this vital service. Additionally, we will act immediately to provide long-term funding for four Rape Crisis Centres in London…
“In 2007/08 the budget for Mr. Livingstone’s Media and Marketing team was more than £3.6 million. A reduction of this by 20% would yield the £744,000 which would fund our commitment to dramatically increasing access to support services for rape victims.
“Quite simply, we believe that it is more important to fund Rape Crisis Centres than press officers.”
In addition, he wrote to Liz Kelly, Chair of End Violence Against Women, that…
“The next Mayor of London must show leadership if we are to end this crime…It is absolutely evident that we must be doing more to help, support and promote the assistance that is given to women…If I am fortunate to be elected on 1st May, this matter will be a priority under my Mayoralty…Quite simply, I believe that it is more important to fund Rape Crisis Centres than press officers.”
Once he was Mayor, however, a pungent scent of bullshit began to collect around City Hall. No plans for Centres – or, indeed, many words regarding them – were released, and inquiries were fobbed off or ignored. In December, under pressure from Jenny Jones AM, he admitted that the promised funding would be substantially cut, while Yvonne Traynor, chief executive of the South London branch of Rape Crisis, revealed that…
“Boris Johnson did promise us sustainable funding for the next four years (pre his election) but since a meeting with the mayor’s office in October last year, we have not heard anything!”
Now, it seems, there will be no funding, and rape victims will be reliant upon a government that Johnson waspishly descriped as “nothing short of a disgrace“. The bullshit clouds have become almost opaque…
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