‘Despicable’ Tory councillor under fire for rape-shaming victim

Remarks made by a Conservative councillor have been described as “despicable” and “dangerous and stupid”, while women’s support groups and his political opponents have demanded that Shaun Slator should be suspended by his party and resign immediately.

‘Despicable’: Bromley Tory Shaun Slator

Slator is a Tory councillor in St Mary Cray ward on Conservative-controlled Bromley council. In his “day job”, Slator works as a parliamentary assistant to Jackie Doyle-Price, the Conservative MP for Thurrock.

Slator’s response to the report of a woman being raped in a south London park over the New Year’s weekend was to suggest that the victim was “likely” to be a prostitute.

Responding to a news report headlined, “Woman raped in Plumstead park in early hours”, which included a police comment, Tory Slator wrote, “More likely that it’s a punter that didn’t pay.”

The Liberal Democrats in Bromley have written to Colin Smith, the leader of Conservative-controlled council, insisting that Slator should apologise immediately. Julie Ireland, the leader of Bromley LibDems, wrote, “I trust you will demand an immediate apology from Councillor Slator, suspend him from your party and open an investigation into his behaviour by the [council’s] standards committee.

“This is not the first time Councillor Slator’s comments have caused offence; he has done so in the council chamber.

“The Liberal Democrats in Bromley formally call for Councillor Slator’s resignation. Someone with his views and judgements has no place representing constituents in Bromley. What a terrible message to send to women and girls in his ward and across the borough, that violence against them is likely to be trivialised and the victim condemned rather than the perpetrator.

“All violence against women and girls needs to be condemned unequivocally.”

Bromley’s Labour leader, Simon Jeal, called on the Tories to “publicly and unequivocally condemn his comments”. Party colleagues in Orpington described Slator’s remarks as “vile attitudes”.

When questioned about his conduct by a reporter from the Daily Mirror, Slator was far from apologetic.

Twitter twat: the Tory councillor’s tweet on New Year’s Eve

“I’m not promoting rape, am I?” the Tory councillor said, seeking to justify his remarks.

“I don’t know that she is or she isn’t [a prostitute]. Do you?”

Labour’s shadow minister for domestic violence and safeguarding, Jess Phillips, said, “These comments are dangerous and stupid.

“Prostituted and exploited women are raped and abused all the time and should be cared for.” Slator, Phillips said, “should educate himself”.

Phillips told the Mirror, “To stigmatise and blame any victim is despicable and it’s the reason why so few rapists ever face justice.

“These attitudes have no place in society and even less so in a representative. The Conservatives shouldn’t allow it in their ranks.”

The newspaper also quoted Women’s Equality Party leader Mandu Reid who said, “The comments made by Shaun Slator are disgraceful and make me so angry. They demonstrate that he is not fit to serve as a councillor and should be removed from his duties immediately.

“To have an elected official publicly dismissing a rape allegation is completely unacceptable and sends a terrible message to the women and girls he is supposed to represent. The scourge of male violence against women in our society will never end whilst attitudes like councillor Slator’s are allowed to prevail.”

The Mirror report included Slator’s comments, at length, to try to justify his remarks, in which he displayed an unusually in-depth knowledge of Plumstead and its sex workers.

Slator told the Mirror, “The area has a huge problem with prostitutes which I have been reporting for years, and the local police and council don’t seem to do anything about it.

Mirror cracked it: how the newspaper broke the Slator story

“I’ve sent them video evidence of the prostitutes chasing the guys down the road because they’ve not paid, and stuff like that.

“That’s a frequent thing that happens round here – the men don’t pay the prostitutes and then the women say they have been raped.

“There’s also other ones where they get caught in the park, the guy does a runner and then the woman says, ‘Oh, I was getting raped’.”

The Mirror reported: “Asked if it was appropriate for a councillor to suggest an alleged rape victim was a prostitute, he insisted: ‘I said it was a possibility’.

“’I’m not justifying it all. You can put a headline there saying a woman has been raped but when you look behind it there’s a huge problem in the area with prostitutes, with women on drugs, women being abused, women being pimped out.

“’I’ve had a knife pulled on me by a pimp in Plumstead for walking past a prostitute.

“’There’s a huge problem here which the council and police aren’t tackling’.”

Bromley Council is investigating complaints received about Councillor Slator’s conduct.

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7 Responses to ‘Despicable’ Tory councillor under fire for rape-shaming victim

  1. Rachel Reeve says:

    “More likely that it’s a punter that didn’t pay.”

    Slator seems to be very familiar with this scenatrio.

  2. derekthrower says:

    Just tells you about the dismal quality of the people who staff the Tory Party and why the country is in such a terrible state after a decade of them. So this piece of rubbish is the parliamentary assistant to Jackie Doyle-Price, the Conservative MP for Thurrock.

    Guess what little echo box she is in? Her partner is Mark Coxshall leader of Thurrock Council. The council that has managed to perform the biggest bankruptcy in Local Government so far. Even beyond the efforts of our own Croydon nightmare team.

    • Doyle-Price’s relative silence over the mismanagement of the local authority in her constituency was remarkably similar to the lack of commentary from Steve Reed OBE – and Croydon’s financial collapse occurred when he was Labour’s first bench spokesperson on [checks notes]… local government.

      Whose interests are these MPs supposed to serve?

      • derekthrower says:

        Yes Reed’s time as Leader of Lambeth overlapped with Negrini’s time as Director of Regeneration at Lambeth and her development career appears to be closely interlinked with London Labour.. The latest nonsense originating from Reed regarding victims setting offenders sentences show his judgement is and has always been defective. He has been remarkably lucky not to have been hindered with the consequences of his decisions. His control and influence over Croydon Labour only create pessimism for the future.

  3. Mo says:

    I think this obnoxious man belongs to the Misogyny Party. It’s up to normal men and women colleagues and the general public need to take him in hand and disabuse him of his disgusting attitudes and behaviour. He is not certainly should not be representing anyone as a local politician. He has verbally and publicly re-assaulted the victim.

    Some people really make their families proud – not

    • Mathew Hill says:


      Firstly, he has no evidence that the sexually assaulted woman is a prostitute, and secondly, even if she is, so what? His repellent comment is perpetuating misogynist and marginalising tropes that ‘normalise’ the abuse of sex workers.

      “Prostituted and exploited women are raped and abused all the time and should be cared for.” Jess Phillips MP is 100% right on this one.

      Sadly, misogyny exists everywhere, but it seems to particularly characterise the Tory Party right now.

  4. Ian Kierans says:

    CPS legal guidance to police is –

    ”Those who sell sex are often targets of violent crime, which can include physical and sexual attacks, including rape. Evidence suggests that offenders deliberately target those who sell sex because they believe they will not report the crime to the police. Perpetrators of such offences can include clients or pimps. There is a strong public interest in prosecuting violent crimes against those who sell sex. In circumstances where a person who sells sex has reported a criminal offence and decided to support a prosecution, special measures should be considered at the earliest opportunity to give them the necessary support and confidence to provide evidence, including through the use of ABE interviews.”

    What is also evidenced from past crime areas is that areas known for prostitution are also more dangerous for others due to predators not knowing who is or is not selling sex and that includes minors.
    So did Mr Slator never think that due to inactions in cleaning up the park and effective policing ALL females would be at risk from those predators no matter age or profession? Did he not think that sex trafficking is growing in the UK?

    Whatever he was thinking in coming out with his bibful, he should apologise without excuse or justification. Then he should educate himself fully in the role he is doing -perhaps championing said professions safety in Bromley working with the Police and Council enforcement along with social services and charities that support battered abused and raped people with little thanks and at grreat emotional cost to themselves

    – if he has the backbone for it – that is?

    If not perhaps something less onerous or vocal in his career choices?

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