Jeremy Corbyn warns that self isolation will increase domestic violence

Jeremy Corbyn has warned that victims of domestic violence will put at greater risk if they are forced to self isolate due to coronavirus.

During Prime Minister's Questions the Labour leader pressed Boris Johnson on his government's record on standing up for women in the wake of International Women's Day.

Mr Corbyn also raised the enduring problem of the gender pay gap, the fall in life expectancy for the poorest women and that 86% of Tory cuts have fallen on the shoulders of women.

Mr Johnson insisted his government had a good record insisting that life expectancy overall was at its highest level ever and repeating his commitment to "level up" the whole of the UK.

The Leader of the Opposition said: "Every fortnight three women are killed by their partner or ex partner. Domestic violence is only likely to increase if large numbers of people are having to self isolate. Ten years of austerity has denied councils the funding they need to support victims of domestic abuse. Will he commit to the extra £173m needed every year to ensure that survivors get the support they so desperately need?"

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The Prime Minister replied: "We've just put record funding back into councils to support them in all their responsibilities.

"When he talks of domestic abuse we are committed to bringing forward a victims' law to guarantee victims' rights and this government has an outstanding record in tackling violence against women and girls and that is why we are taking forward in this parliament our landmark domestic violence bill."

The government has put record money into councils but only in the context of almost a decade of cuts.

Mr Corbyn hit back saying: "Without funding the domestic abuse bill will simply be a piece of paper".

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During the weekly clash both leaders sent well wishes to Health Minister Nadine Dorries, who has tested positive for coronavirus.

Mr Corbyn said: "A quarter of social care workers who are overwhelmingly women are on zero hours contracts. It's essential care workers self-isolate if they experience symptoms of coronavirus, but many may feel they have no choice but to continue working.

"Will the Prime Minister finally bring in emergency legislation to guarantee sick pay for zero hours workers to help contain the spread of the virus?"

Mr Johnson replied: "I know the whole House will wish to join Mr Corbyn in wishing my honourable friend the Minister for Mental Health (Nadine Dorries) a speedy recovery."

Mr Johnson added: "As Mr Corbyn knows, in just a few minutes we will be hearing from my right honourable friend the Chancellor about what measures we are taking to protect everybody.

"As he knows, we have already brought forward statutory sick pay from day four to day one, but for those who are on all types of contracts, we will ensure that they get the protection that they need and nobody who does the right thing by staying at home is penalised."

Mr Corbyn replied: "I hope that legislation comes rapidly and it does guarantee that people don't have to make a choice between spreading the virus because they have to go to work or staying at home and self-isolating, as obviously they should do if they've got the symptoms."

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