Vera's letter upon being shortlisted to run for Police Commissioner

Here’s the text of Vera’s letter:

I am proud to have been shortlisted for the Labour candidacy for the new post of Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner. There will now be a ballot of Labour Party members in Northumberland and Tyne and Wear to select our candidate. I hope that you will want to vote for me when the ballot paper arrives on or about 25th May.

I enclose some information about me and about my priorities. I would be pleased to talk to you about your views on policing, community safety, crime and justice.

This is a new

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Vera for Northumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner

Vera is standing for Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner. Read more on Vera’s Police Commissioner Campaign page.

Everywoman Safe Everywhere: Labour’s Commission into Women’s Safety - Interim report

Everywoman Safe Everywhere, Labour’s Commission on Women’s Safety is a consultation established in November 2011 in response to concerns that, not only were government policies disproportionately impacting upon women economically, but may be risking their safety too. Yvette Cooper asked Vera Baird, former Solicitor General with a strong record working to reduce violence against women, to chair this new Women’s Safety Commission assisted by Kate Green and Stella Creasy.

In the last three months the Commission has held 14 evidence gathering sessions in different towns and cities; has engaged with more than 100 organisations and experts, and received upwards

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The falsely retracted rape claim: how the justice system failed

It has been a catastrophic case for both ‘Sarah’ the victim and the public. Here are the key questions that need answering.

There are big questions for the justice professionals in the saga of “Sarah”, whose conviction for perverting the course of justice by wrongly retracting a rape allegation was upheld on Tuesday by Lord Judge, the lord chief justice. Read the rest of Vera’s piece in ‘Comment is free’ in the Guardian on March 14th, 2012

Checking the blind spot - Examining violence against women

This piece appeared in Next Left on Friday, 10th February 2012:

This is a guest post by Vera Baird. Vera is a member of the Fabian Society Executive Committee and Chair of the new Labour Commission on Women’s Safety, commissioned by shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper.

Yvette Cooper described this Government, whose first budget took 70% of its cuts from women and 30% from men, as having “a blind spot” about women. She seems to be right when one considers, not only economics, but also plans such as the deletion of

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Address to Commonwealth Journalists’ Association Conference, Malta 2012

Feb 1st 2012 The Culture, Practice and Ethics of the Press is the title of the Leveson Inquiry, set up to deal with the phone hacking scandal. So let us turn away from press restraint, oppressive laws, the persecution of journalists in the Commonwealth, on which you so proudly campaign, and consider the ethical issues confronting the profession in the UK, how this Inquiry came about, the issues it faces and the impact that may have on your work. In brief summary, in January 2007, the News of the World Royal reporter, Clive Goodman

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Vera to speak at Commonwealth Journalists' Conference in Malta

Vera is pleased to have been asked to speak at the CJA annual conference in Malta next Tuesday about the Leveson Inquiry. Watch this space her for her address

Women's Safety Commission seems to be spooking Lib Dem Minister for Women

A local report of Vera’s role in the Women’s Safety Commission seems to be spooking Lib Dem Minister for Women Lynne Featherstone! Read the article in the Tottenham Journal here.

The Infidelity defence to murder

Read Vera’s article intended for the Guardian ‘Comment is Free’ section. (they published an early draft instead of the final version that appears here):

Parliament made clear three years ago that sexual infidelity should not be allowed as a defence for murder, whatever the circumstances. A partner’s affair could no longer be treated by Courts as a defensible reason to lose self control and kill.

However, giving judgment, in three domestic murder appeals last week, Lord Chief Justice

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Amnesty photo action - Khun Dee De released

Vera has been calling for the release of Burmese political prisoner Khun Dee De for two years, during an Amnesty International campaign in which each campaigner focussed on an individual prisoner. She was pleased to hear from Amnesty International that he is one of the political prisoners freed under the regime’s new direction. Amnesty International issued a press release which Vera fully endorses:

Amnesty Press Release Burma: Political prisoner release ‘major step’ but gates must open ‘even wider’

Posted: 13 January 2012

The release of at least 130 political prisoners in Burma

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