Susanna Reid makes passionate plea after Sarah Everard vigil saying 'women came to pay respects & were shoved by police'

SUSANNA Reid made a passionate speech about women's safety as she prepares to interview a top minister after the vigil for Sarah Everard.

The TV host – who is presenting Good Morning Britain alongside Ben Shepherd after Piers Morgan's shock resignation last week – spoke out before an interview this morning with Policing Minister Kit Malthouse.


And she tackled "shocking" scenes at Clapham Common which saw women pinned to the ground and handcuffed.

Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick is facing growing calls to resign over the chaos – although she's reportedly been backed by Boris Johnson to stay in her job.

"This was supposed to be a peaceful vigil for Sarah," Susanna said.

It comes as:

  • Sarah Everard's body was 'found in a builder's bag in woods' in Kent 
  • Met Police chief Cressida Dick faces calls to quit after officers stormed a vigil for Sarah
  • Woman arrested at the vigil slams 'disgraceful' police 
  • Home Secretary Priti Patel demands 'full report' over 'upsetting' arrests
  • Wayne Couzens, 48, appeared in court accused of her murder and kidnap
  • Boris Johnson says Sarah's death must "unite us in determination"

"That's the absolutely tragic case of a woman who was simply walking home a week ago.

"Women gathered – more than 1,000 of them – to just pay respects, lay flowers and make a point about the fact they don't feel safe. 

"The Duchess of Cambridge went a bit earlier in the day and laid daffodils. A spokesperson says she felt for what had happened and remembered what it was like when she was in London before she got married.

"She was an important presence at the vigil.

"But something happened later on which means police are now under fire for a very heavy handed response."

She said women who had "turned up to pay respects to a woman who is dead" were "shoved out of the way by police".

"This is not the image we wanted," Susanna said.

"I think women are unsettled, angry and upset.

"This is at a time when rape prosecutions are at a record low, kerb crawling of schoolgirls is still not illegal, a woman is killed every three days, and the new crime bill which comes before Parliament would give a longer sentence in prison for defacing a statue than the starting point for rape.

"There is an issue that needs to be dealt with."

Mr Johnson will today chair a meeting of the Crime and Justice Taskforce to look at ways to make Britain’s streets more safe. 

Home Secretary Priti Patel is expected to attend the meeting, along with Dame Cressida Dick and Director of Public Prosecutions Max Hill. 

The PM will use the meeting to discuss the Government’s strategy on preventing violence against women, rape prosecutions and the criminal justice system. 

Ahead of the meeting, he said: “Like everyone who saw it I was deeply concerned about the footage from Clapham Common on Saturday night.

“I have spoken with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner who has committed to reviewing how this was handled and the Home Secretary has also commissioned HM Inspectorate of Constabulary to conduct a lessons learned review into the policing of the event.”

However, Politico reports this morning he will back Dame Cressida, with a No10 source claiming she retains his "full confidence".

Ms Dick claimed she would have attended the event herself had it been “lawful”, and insisted she was “determined to lead” the Force.

The commissioner was locked in crisis talks with Mr Johnson, Ms Patel and London Mayor Sadiq Khan throughout the weekend.

In a blistering attack, Mr Khan said he was “not satisfied with the explanation” he was given and ordered two separate investigations into the heavy handed tactics.

The Home Secretary has also asked the Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Sir Tom Winsor, to investigate.

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