Lib Dems slammed as ‘pro-pimp’ party
SIR Vince Cable opened the Liberal Democrat conference yesterday to accusations that he leads a ‘pro-pimp’ party.
Feminist campaigners picketed the event in Brighton in protest at Lib Dem policies on prostitution and sex trafficking – and to oppose the party’s aim of ‘decriminalising’ the sex trade.
Protesters held banners saying ‘Lib Dems for pornographers’ and ‘Stigma does not kill prostitutes, men do’.
Dr Sasha Rakoff of the campaign group Not Buying It said: ‘We are very concerned by the Lib Dem policies which are pro-pimp, pro-trafficking.
‘They even think sex trafficking can be consensual. They are pro-prostitution. They see pimps as businessmen.’
In response, the party said: ‘Liberal Democrats will decriminalise the sale and purchase of sex and the management of sex work.’ They said this approach would defend sex workers and allow police to focus time and resources ‘on those groomed, forced or trafficked into the sex industry’.
The conference opened with Sir Vince also facing tough questions over proposals to allow non-MPs to stand as party leader, revealed by the MoS last month.
Party sources have made clear that Sir Vince, 75, intends to stand down before the next General Election – with speculation he will quit next year. There are currently just 12 Lib Dem MPs.