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Stella Creasy, Shadow Home Affairs minister with responsibility for violence against women: live webchat TODAY, Thursday 27 September 1-2pm

(92 Posts)
FrancesMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 25-Sep-12 12:11:43

We are pleased to announce that Stella Creasy, Labour MP for Walthamstow, will be joining us for a webchat on Thursday 27 September from 1-2pm. Prior to being an MP, Stella was Head of Public Affairs at the Scout Association. She is Shadow Minister for Crime Prevention, and has campaigned on pay day loans (including lobbying presenters Ant and Dec about their association with payday loans company Wonga).

Stella is now supporting One Billion Rising UK, the UK arm of the wider One Billion Rising campaign, an international coalition to end violence against women and girls. The campaign will culminate on 14 February 2013 on the 15th anniversary of V Day. V-Day is about women's collective strength, numbers and solidarity across borders. You can see Stella's Mumsnet Blog about One Billion Rising here.

As ever, if you're unable to join us on the day please post your questions in advance here.

Thank you
MNHQ

FrothyOM Thu 27-Sep-12 12:48:10

Hello and welcome to mumsnet!

Will you be pressing for refuges and supported housing to be taken out of universal credit and the overall benefit cap?

The government don't seem to be clear whether they will as yet, or whether women in refuges will have to apply to the discretionary fund to meet their housing costs. Discretionary funds, as I interpret it, are not money that is guaranteed. This is totally wrong IMO, women fleeing abuse need a guarantee that their housing costs will be paid, and that they don't have to make up the difference themselves.

Womens aid are concerned that if survivors are not exempted from the overall benefit cap then the many refuges will have to close.

FrothyOM Thu 27-Sep-12 12:50:34

The thread on this - called benefit caps could decimate the refuge system - is here: www.mumsnet.com/Talk/in_the_news/1567760-Benefit-caps-could-decimate-the-refuge-system

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 27-Sep-12 13:01:56

Apologies but Stella's running a wee bit late - stuck on a tube we're thinking. But am sure she'll be with us soon.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 27-Sep-12 13:10:23

She's here now [hurrah] and will get going shortly.

StellaCreasyMP Thu 27-Sep-12 13:13:57

hello everyone- sorry having problems logging in. Has this worked? am also trying to find out what an earth a gymbalow is?! #lostmp

StellaCreasyMP Thu 27-Sep-12 13:15:25

think this working now- apparently gymbalow a planning issue. Know from being a local councillor how stressful these things are to all concerned but don't have authority as an MP to intervene! always try to be honest about where I do and don't have power as not fair to suggest otherwise!

StellaCreasyMP Thu 27-Sep-12 13:17:06

so questions on violence against women and refuges- yes pressed the government to look at what universal credit will do to refuges and lobbying the home office to lobby the DWP about it. Very worried as 40% of refuge clients claim housing benefit for both the refuge and their property- the cap would affect their ability to do that meaning some women could end up either losing a tenancy (so having nowhere to return to or exchange) or not being able ot afford to go to a refuge.

StellaCreasyMP Thu 27-Sep-12 13:18:59

On FGM- yes agree its a difficult one to get right. Jane ellison, the battersea mp, is doing some good work on this and the need to help those who may come into contact with girls at risk to spot the signs. Also need to work with women within communities particularly affected by it to secure their support in challenging practise.

StellaCreasyMP Thu 27-Sep-12 13:21:14

worst bit of sexism- where to start?! parliament like rest of british society and its expectations of women, so think my experiences no different to others but it is important to speak out as doesn't mean we should accept it. Everytime we do even though you get a torrent of abuse I hope it makes it a bit easier for others to challenge as well and try to support others to do so too in all walks of life? on a personal level, I always say if people want to judge me as a blonde woman more fool them! ;-)

StellaCreasyMP Thu 27-Sep-12 13:21:47

just as an aside have to say not only have the fabled mumsnet biscuits arrived but they're also handing out lovely sarnies and posh fruit juice. Mumsnet rocks!

QWERTYmonster Thu 27-Sep-12 13:23:13

Hi Stella

To follow up on the DV issue: sadly, it was the Labour government that oversaw the withdrawal of ringfencing from funding for local DV refuges (among other things, including housing for asylum seekers).

Do you agree that Labour got this badly wrong? Do you think the ringfence should be restored? (Cos I do, as you can probably tell wink)

StellaCreasyMP Thu 27-Sep-12 13:23:29

just seen the question on unpaid internships- I've long been a supporter of the campaign to end this practice in all professions as seen first hand how it not only exploits young people trying to get a start in life but also isn't very productive for organisations involved. If you're really interested I wrote a piece for labour list a while ago about how to make internships work for everyone and ensure that they're open to all - google 'putting our house in order'?

StripyShoes Thu 27-Sep-12 13:24:21

Hi Stella,

On your last point, how is mn viewed in political circles? grin

StellaCreasyMP Thu 27-Sep-12 13:26:38

not sure how to direclty reply to posters but qwertymonster actually think we need to change the entire way we support women who are victims of violence and harassment at both a local and national level including how we fund support services as well as prosecute offenders and help survivors. Its striking to me from my own casework let alone the organisations I work with that current system too often misses cases - or can't intervene early enough- let alone the changes that are to come will make this even harder. What would work is something we're discussing some policy ideas through via the one billion rising campaign workshops- hope you could make one of them to discuss?

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 27-Sep-12 13:26:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MmeLindor Thu 27-Sep-12 13:27:44

Stella
What do you think of Louise Mensch.

Be honest now, we won't tell anyone.

wink

StellaCreasyMP Thu 27-Sep-12 13:28:29

hello cinnabarred - just to say it wasn't me, the dinner ladies made me do it and in any case you can hardly see the mark on the carpet....;-)

StellaCreasyMP Thu 27-Sep-12 13:29:11

gulp the lovely mumsnet ladies have just shown me how to directly respond to posts apologies pokes computer with stick

StellaCreasyMP Thu 27-Sep-12 13:31:06

actually I never really got to know louise- I did one debate with her and she seemed perfectly nice (if mistaken on what feminism means!). Didn't agree with her politics and got frustrated that when she left parliament the media rang me to see whether I felt this meant 'women couldn't have it all'. Had to point out I don't have kids, a transatlantic partner or indeed an ability to write trashy novels! I did try to get them to talk to male colleagues struggling with balancing their family lives but no one called them....feels to me like we still have a long way to go ......

MmeLindor

Stella
What do you think of Louise Mensch.

Be honest now, we won't tell anyone.

wink

StellaCreasyMP Thu 27-Sep-12 13:31:51

how is mumsnet viewed in political circles? with fear and reverence obviously.......;-)

StripyShoes

Hi Stella,

On your last point, how is mn viewed in political circles? grin

StellaCreasyMP Thu 27-Sep-12 13:32:15

sorry just trying to tab down to find some of the earlier questions.....

FrothyOM Thu 27-Sep-12 13:32:58

Thanks for answering my question. [flowers]

FrothyOM Thu 27-Sep-12 13:33:17

thanks even

StellaCreasyMP Thu 27-Sep-12 13:33:25

er - I'm still learning to drive actually (yes be afraid walthamstow residents, very afraid) so not sure I'm much use on this question I'm afraid!

pinkje

What family car do you drive?

Just curious I guess, but also trying to make that decision myself.

Thanks.

StellaCreasyMP Thu 27-Sep-12 13:33:50

careful - people will talk you know! ;-)

FrothyOM

thanks even

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