Coalition plans to give anonymity to men accused of rape are to be abandoned in a significant policy U-turn, The Sunday Telegraph has learned.*sigh*
Their first real test, and they bottled it:
The controversial pledge to "extend anonymity in rape cases to defendants" was a surprise inclusion in the power-sharing agreement binding the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats together after the general election.So what? That's like saying that you refused to deliver life-saving medication to a critical patient beccause, as you got near her, a teacup chihuahua popped its head out of her handbag and bared its tiny, mouse-like teeth!
It faced an immediate storm of protest from MPs across all main parties including Harriet Harman, the acting Labour leader.
How the hell are the coalition supposed to 'take the unwelcome decisions' if they cut and run from this sort of thing?
David Cameron hinted last month that the plan, based on a Lib Dem policy of shielding a defendant's name until conviction, could be watered down.'Watered down' = 'dropped' in ConDem speak, it seems.
Now it has emerged that ministers will not change the law to ban the identification of men accused of rape at any stage in the legal process.Oh. Well, that'll work well, I'm sure...
Crispin Blunt, the justice minister, told MPs that the government wanted to find a "non-statutory solution".
Instead of a legal ban, Ministry of Justice (MoJ) sources suggested that one way forward would be a voluntary agreement among newspaper publishers and website chiefs that those charged with rape should not have their identities revealed until they were charged – backed by a beefed-up role for the Press Complaints Commission.