The government is facing growing anger after voting against putting serial stalkers and domestic abusers on a national register, despite briefing they were likely to support the measures following the death of Sarah Everard.
Conservative MPs voted against amendments to the domestic abuse bill on Thursday that would have placed serial domestic abusers and stalkers on the current Violent and Sex Offender Register (Visor).
MPs also voted down House of Lords-supported amendments that would have given family court judges training on sexual abuse and provided greater protection to migrant victims of domestic violence.
The stalking amendment gained overwhelming support in the Lords last month and the home secretary, Priti Patel, suggested the government was likely to support the measures, telling MPs: “There is something about perpetrators and their serial offending that has to be addressed. There is no question about that at all … I will be very candid: we will look at all measures.”
After the death of Sarah Everard, government sources told the Sunday Times that the move also had the backing of the justice secretary, Robert Buckland, while a Change.org petition urging the government to introduce the stalkers’ register has attracted almost 250,000 signatures.
All but two Conservative MPs voted against the amendment to add persistent stalkers and domestic abusers to a national register. It was defeated 351 to 227.