Page last updated at 10:00 GMT, Wednesday, 25 June 2008 11:00 UK

Rape campaigner by-election bid

David Davis
David Davis gave up his shadow home secretary role to fight the 10 July poll

Rape law campaigner Jill Saward says she is considering standing against David Davis - the Tory MP whose resignation sparked a by-election.

Ms Saward was raped at her Ealing vicarage home in 1986. Her father, then vicar of Ealing, and boyfriend were badly hurt in the attack by burglars.

Ms Saward, who has waived her right to anonymity, accused Mr Davis of having nothing to say about sexual violence.

He quit his Haltemprice and Howden seat to stand up for civil liberties.

The 59-year-old ex-SAS man said he hoped the move would begin a debate on Labour's 42-day terror detention limit.

Somebody's got their priorities wrong and somebody needs to get the issue of rape onto the agenda
Jill Saward

But Ms Saward said in an article on her website that victims of sexual crime should come before suspected terrorists.

She also argues that the national DNA database should be extended rather than scrapped.

"Mr Davis thinks that by forcing a by-election he is standing up for British justice," she said.

"In reality he is attempting to strike a hammer blow through the very tools the police need to keep us safe.

"When a shadow home secretary says nothing at all about such an important issue as sexual violence which affects thousands of people each year; and then resigns over an issue of limited pre-charge detention which may not affect anybody at all - then somebody's got their priorities wrong and somebody needs to get the issue of rape onto the agenda."

Nominations to close

Ms Saward's identity and address are protected under the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act, but she has waived anonymity rights in regards to her name, but not her address.

She says she will announce whether she will stand on Thursday, before nominations close at 1600 BST.

The by-election is due to be held on 10 July. Labour and the Liberal Democrats have decided not to stand against him.

Here is a list of people who have indicated they are considering standing:

  • David Davis - Conservative
  • Eamonn Fitzpatrick - Independent
  • Gemma Garrett - Independent
  • George Georgiou - Generalist Party
  • Neil Glass - Independent
  • Hamish Howitt - Independent
  • David Icke - Independent
  • The Mad Cow Girl - Official Monster Raving Loony Party
  • Shan Oakes - Green Party
  • Jill Saward - Independent
  • Chris Talbot - Socialist Equality Party


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