Labour MP Jess Phillips has refused to apologise for her comments in which she accused David Cameron of "colluding with child abusers" after the government rejected calls to make sex and relationship education (SRE) compulsory in all schools. Education secretary Nicky Morgan was said to have waged a "valiant battle" against the prime minister in order to make sex education obligatory, a move also backed by members of his own cabinet, including home secretary Theresa May.
The decision to turn down the plans were criticised by several campaign groups including the National Aids Trust, who said they were "extremely disappointed" by the decision. Lucy Emmerson, co-ordinator of the Sex Education Forum, said that SRE is vital for children to understand the difference between "acceptable and abusive behaviour, consent and sexual health."
The move was also highly criticised by the outspoken MP for Birmingham Yardley Phillips, who tweeted that by blocking sex and relationship education the prime minister "is colluding with child abusers".
Phillips refused to back down from her comments and does not regret making them. She told the Independent on Sunday: "This is benign neglect rather than malign neglect. I don't think David Cameron wants children to be abused, but it is the same result. It's neglect and collusion whether or not he means to do it."
Phillips was previously criticised for her comments surrounding the Cologne sex attacks in which hundreds of women were assaulted on New Year's Eve in the city's centre. She said during an appearance on BBC's Question Time: "There is violence against women and girls that you are describing, a very similar situation to what happened in Cologne could be described on Broad Street in Birmingham every week where women are baited and heckled."
Inspector Gareth Morris, of Birmingham city centre, said of Phillips's comments: "There is certainly nothing to suggest any crime patterns or trends related to immigration and I would invite anyone to come and enjoy a night out in Birmingham and experience what the city has to offer.
"Like any city centre we, of course, experience issues associated with the night-time economy, but my team has worked hard on the policing style in recent years, together with business representatives and other partners, to achieve some great results, the biggest being the reduction in violent crime fuelled by alcohol."