Government backs Zac’s bill to protect girls from FGM

The Government has announced that it will provide parliamentary time for debates and votes on a bill proposed by Richmond Park and North Kingston MP Zac Goldsmith to protect girls at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM).

The Children Act 1989 (Female Genital Mutilation) (Amendment) Bill has already passed through the House of Lords, but was blocked from making further progress in the House of Commons by MP Christopher Chope, to outrage from Zac and FGM campaigners. The bill would allow judges in the family courts to issue care orders to protect girls at specific risk of undergoing FGM.

Following the blocking of the bill, cabinet ministers announced that they would back Zac’s bill and make sure that time in Parliament is made available for it to be debated and voted on, without being blocked by the actions of one MP any longer.

Responding to a question at Prime Minister’s Questions today, Theresa May announced that the Government would act swiftly to provide time for Zac’s bill 

Commenting, Zac said: “FGM is an abhorrent crime and, with just one successful prosecution against it in the UK, we need to do far more to protect at risk girls from its horror. My bill won’t end FGM, but it provides another vital tool that could see more young girls kept safe. I am delighted that the Government will make time for my bill and I look forward to leading it onto the statute book.”