Jeremy Corbyn dismisses Labour MPs idea of women-only train carriages amid fierce backlash

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Jeremy Corbyn has brushed aside suggestions women-only train carriages could be introduced to combat sexual offences on public transport – despite proposing the idea two years ago.

The Labour leader said it had become clear “people don’t want them” amid a fierce backlash after his frontbench ally Chris Williamson proposed the idea to combat the “very worrying” increase in sex attacks.

Mr Corbyn first suggested the policy during his leadership campaign in 2015, but dropped the idea after it was criticised by senior party members.

Critics have similarly blasted the proposals by Mr Williamson, saying efforts should be focused on making trains safer, rather than segregating women.

Harassment: More victims of sexual offences on the Tube have come forward in recent years (British Transport Police)

Mr Williamson, Labour’s shadow fire minister, said creating separate travelling arrangements for female passengers might offer “a safe space” for women.

Sexual offences on trains have more than doubled in the past five years.

Asked if he would revisit the idea, Mr Corbyn told HuffPost UK: “No. It was there [during his leadership campaign] as a discussion item which was taken out of context.

“The response was that people don’t want them: end of.”

When approached by the Standard, campaigners blasted the proposals, saying the idea would turn sexual assault into a “women’s problem”.

Labour’s Stella Creasy was among those who criticised the idea, arguing that it would “normalise” attacks and that women should be safe to sit anywhere.

A picture was circulated on Twitter on Wednesday of a sign posted on Mr Williamson’s office door poking fun at the suggestion.

It said: “Woman? Sexually harassed at work? How about working on your own floor?”

It went on to say people could “sign up to this and other silly notions” by emailing Mr Williamson.

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