MPs vote in favour of draft laws aimed at tackling violence against women

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Proposals aiming to help end violence against women have cleared their first Commons hurdle.

MPs voted in favour of draft laws requiring the Government to ratify the Istanbul Convention by 135 votes to two, majority 133.

Conservative MP Philip Davies was accused of attempting to "filibuster" the Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (Ratification of Convention) Bill after he gave a 77-minute speech against it.

The vote in favour of the Bill's second reading was triggered after the SNP successfully moved a motion to curtail the debate.

If MPs had still been debating SNP MP Eilidh Whiteford's proposals at 2.30pm then they would have failed to progress to the next stage for further scrutiny.

Fears had been expressed that Mr Davies (Shipley) was leading efforts from Tory backbenchers to kill off the Bill.

He argued it is "sexist" to say the focus should only be on violence against women, adding that he stands for "true equality" where all people are treated equally.

Mr Davies also said Ms Whiteford had brought forward a Bill with a "worthy sentiment", adding "morons on Twitter" would probably misinterpret opposition to it.

He was heckled by Labour MPs for the length of his speech, with Tory colleagues also questioning why he would not back the Bill.

After Mr Davies had finished, Labour's Thangam Debbonaire told the Commons: "That is 78 minutes that I believe I'm never going to get back."

The Istanbul Convention was adopted by the Council of Europe in 2011, and while the UK has signed the convention it has not yet ratified it.

The Government has said it intends to ratify the convention, but has faced growing criticism for the fact it is yet to do so.