Jeremy Corbyn said that he was in favour of decriminalising prostitution during a Q&A at Goldsmiths on Thursday.
The leader of the Labour Party made the comments at an event to promote Sadiq Khan’s Get Involved campaign in his bid to be mayor of London.
Corbyn gave a rousing speech about issues facing the capital; housing, environment, mental health, transport and education before entering into the uncharted territory of a Q&A segment that delved deep into the public’s concerns, including the controversial topic of sex work.
One audience member asked him whether he thought sex work should be decriminalised. He said: “I am in favour of decriminalising the sex industry … I want to be [in] a society where we don’t automatically criminalise people. Let’s do things a bit differently and in a bit more civilised way.”
Corbyn’s comments about the decriminalisation of the sex industry have come under fire by the media and fellow Labour MPs over the last couple of days with some calling it a “betrayal of women.”
The event was set up by the Goldsmiths Labour Society and Lewisham Labour and saw Vicky Foxcroft, Labour MP for Lewisham Deptford, speak about: Khan’s campaign, Corbyn’s leadership and how the party has developed over the last year.
Questions were also asked about his stance on young people’s involvement with the party, the NHS and how he deals with negative media portrayals.
Video and reporting by Alex Hurrell, Rebecca Henrys and Frances Rankin