Iain Duncan Smith calls for improvements to the Modern Slavery Act

20th December 2018

Iain Duncan Smith calls for improvements to the modern slavery legislation to extend the time people can stay in the UK to ensure those that suffer persecution can be protected and not risk being trafficked again.

My right hon. Friend should recall that Penelope Pitstop was opposed by a man called Dick Dastardly, who was completely incompetent and lost out every time.

May I draw my right hon. Friend’s attention to an issue of significant importance? I am a sponsor of Lord McColl’s Bill on improvements to modern-day slavery legislation. I recognise that it will never see the light of day in this Chamber, but will my right hon. Friend use her good offices to speak to her right hon. Friends in the Home Office and recognise that this great thing that the Conservative party introduced—this was the first Parliament in the world to introduce a modern slavery Bill, and we did that to help to release those people suffering—now needs serious adjustments to ensure that those who suffer persecution can be protected by being allowed longer stays in this country? I urge her to use her good offices to persuade the Home Office to extend that time, or to schedule a debate in the House on a possible extension to the time for which victims of modern slavery may stay the UK. Otherwise, they risk being retrafficked, and we would never forgive ourselves if that happened.

My right hon. Friend raises an incredibly important point. All of us in this House are proud of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, which the Prime Minister passed when she was Home Secretary. It is vital that we keep ahead of problems. It is extraordinary and utterly unacceptable that slavery still exists to this day. The Government have done a lot to protect against violence against women and girls. Through the 2015 Act, we will continue to review any steps that need to be taken to improve on the work that has already gone ahead.