‘Rough sex’ as a defence for murder is grotesque victim-blaming | Sian Norris

The murder of Grace Millane in New Zealand and a spate of UK cases show the urgent need for a change in our laws

The killer of British backpacker Grace Millane has been sentenced to life in prison in New Zealand. Millane’s mother, Gillian, told her daughter’s killer: “You have taken my daughter’s future and robbed us of so many memories that we were going to create.”

The horrific murder of Millane, who met her killer (who cannot be named for legal reasons) on a Tinder date, has focused attention on the increasing use of the “sex game gone wrong” defence by men who kill women. It’s a defence that can only be described as victim-blaming taken to its most grotesque extreme. Here we have increasing numbers of men blaming women for the fatal violence committed against them, suggesting women can somehow consent to their own deaths (which is legally impossible) while claiming they themselves cannot be held responsible. It’s time the use of this defence stopped – for good.

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Labour’s ‘period of reflection’ requires more than self-flagellation | Tom Blackburn

Demands for Labour to renounce and repent have always followed its defeats. But there are no quick fixes

Since Labour’s election defeat in December, the party has managed to agree on one thing: that a “period of reflection” is necessary. But while everyone accepts reflection is required, there are, predictably, wildly varying ideas about what form it should take.

One option is to lament the kind of party Labour has become. On BBC’s Politics Live, communications consultant Deborah Mattinson asserted that Labour, apparently once the “pie-and-a-pint party”, was now beholden to the whims of north London quinoa munchers. (Never mind that you can get a quinoa salad in any Wetherspoon pub.) Well-worn as this spiel is, Labour’s base still consists of the kind of people you’d broadly expect: workers, students, renters, the disabled and unemployed.

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Immigrants built Britain. Now their Conservative children are disowning them | Nesrine Malik

Priti Patel and Sajid Javid are backing new immigration rules that would have barred their ‘unskilled’ parents from the UK

There are few people who have done more work for recent Conservative immigration policy while not actually being in government than Sajid Javid’s father. In fact, he’s doing two jobs at once. The first is to advertise that the Tories are now the party of social mobility: Javid senior was a bus driver. The second is to be invoked constantly as a defence against charges of Conservative racism and Islamophobia – as a Muslim man, born in Pakistan, who migrated to the UK in the 1960s.

Related: Care workers like me aren’t low skilled – these immigration rules will risk lives | Karolina Gerlich

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