Guardian: Letters – Why should Keith Vaz resign as head of the HAC just because he may have consorted with sex workers?

Unpublished. 9 September 2016

Why should Keith Vaz resign as head of the Home Affairs Select Committee which is considering the prostitution laws just because he may have consorted with sex workers? (Vaz to leave committee after sex claims, Guardian 5 Sept 16) The laws that criminalised sex workers have almost always (with some exceptions) been made by clients. There is nothing new or noteworthy about this.

It is time for legislation to be responsive to the rights and demands of the workers in the industry – women, men and trans – who know how the laws operate in practice and how they affect our lives and the lives of our families and communities who rely on our income for survival. In recommending earlier this year that sex workers should be decriminalised, the HASC has so far broken with hypocritical Victorian values.

Predictably, Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell who have always supported the decriminalisation of prostitution, are under attack right now for taking this lead from the workers.

Laura Watson and Heston Michaels, English Collective of Prostitutes

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