A SOUTHAMPTON MP has grilled the Home Secretary on whether or not the Government is doing enough to hear the views of women as it responds to the Sarah Everard case.

The Metropolitan Police were criticised for a heavy handed approach, which saw officers tackling women to the ground, at a vigil in memory of the 33-year-old at Clapham Common on Saturday (March 13).

MP for Romsey and Southampton North, Caroline Nokes, asked Priti Patel if women's concerns would be heard at the Government's crime and justice taskforce meeting in what she believes "looks suspiciously like an all-male room".

The meeting was chaired by the prime minister yesterday (March 15) in a bid to protect women and girls and make sure streets are safe.

Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick dismissed calls to resign and defended the force's actions.

Appearing virtually at the House of Commons yesterday (March 15), Ms Nokes said a survey on violence against women and girls in the UK receiving 78,000 submissions since it reopened on Friday was an "absolutely enormous" response.

Ms Nokes, who is the chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, said: "These are women who do not have confidence in the system at present and we desperately need to install confidence for them.

"That will take an enormous effort in shifting cultures and coming together collectively to make sure we achieve that aim."

However she was concerned that high level Government meetings about the issue would include very few women.

She added: "But, can my Right Honourable Friend assure me that those women are going to have their voices heard in the justice taskforce, which looks suspiciously like an all-male room?"

In response, Ms Patel said: "Let me give her assurance that the crime and justice taskforce is not a male show at all.

"I am obviously part of that, as is the safeguarding minister, and there are many other agencies and parties that are involved in that, including the first female Metropolitan Police Commissioner as well, so there are a range of voices.

"Again, I would urge people from being too judgemental that all the work that takes place in Government is just by men, because it is not."

The vigil for Ms Everard was organised after her suspected kidnap and murder sparked anger over the safety of women on the UK’s streets.

She was last seen in Clapham, south London, on March 3. Last Wednesday, police found human remains in Kent while searching for her.

PC Wayne Couzens, a 48-year-old Met Police officer, has now been charged with her kidnap and murder.

A woman in her 30s arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender has been released on bail.