Mel B pleaded with Sir Keir Starmer to make tackling domestic violence one of his ‘national missions’ if he becomes prime minister.
The Labour leader said he would make the issue a priority after being grilled by the Spice Girl, a survivor of domestic abuse who is campaigning for change.
Sir Keir said a ‘powerful strand’ within his pledge to ‘make Britain’s streets safe’ is tackling violence against women and girls.
He unveiled five missions last week to improve the nation, including securing high sustained growth and building an NHS fit for the future.
But Mel B, sitting alongside Sir Keir at a Woman’s Aid panel, demanded that he adds a sixth mission – tackling domestic violence.
‘If you’re going to talk about your five main things you have to add another one on that is specifically domestic abuse,’ she said.
As the audience laughed at her sustained questioning, she said: ‘You may well laugh but I’m being bloody serious.
‘It needs to be a standalone thing that we get educated on from the ground up, inside out.’
Sir Keir revealed he ‘absolutely will make it a priority’ if he is prime minister but did not commit to a sixth national mission.
He shared that ‘end-to-end change’ is needed and ‘tinkering around the edges isn’t going to make a difference’.
Mel B, a patron of the Women’s Aid charity, described herself as a ‘big fan’ of Sir Keir’s and expressed confidence that he will win the next general election.
However, she warned him: ‘Keir, I’m holding you to everything. I will come after you, I will.
‘For every survivor and everybody’s voice out there that can’t be heard I am their voice – so watch out. Because I really do like you.’
Mel’s words came after she spoke out about being in an abusive marriage for 10 years with her ex-husband Stephen Belafonte – who she split from in 2017.
During a confessional on the season premiere of Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test last month, the star revealed: ‘I ended up being in a very horrible abusive 10 year relationship.
‘I felt worthless, you feel helpless. I’m facing huge fears.’
Domestic abuse helpline
If you are in immediate danger call 999. If you cannot talk, dial 55 and the operator will respond.
For emotional support, you can contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247. Alternatively, for practical and emotional support, please contact Women’s Aid Live Chat 10am – 6pm seven days a week.
You can also reach the National Centre for Domestic Violence on 0800 270 9070 or text NCDV to 60777.
For free and confidential advice and support for women in London affected by abuse, you can call Solace on 0808 802 5565 or email [email protected]
Male victims of domestic abuse can call 01823 334244 to speak to ManKind, an initiative available for male victims of domestic abuse and domestic violence across the UK as well as their friends, family, neighbours, work colleagues and employers.
Alternatively, the Men’s Advice Line can be reached at 0808 8010327, or emailed at [email protected]
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