The debate on the second reading of the Stalking Protection Bill which was passed on Friday 19th January referenced the case of Hollie Gazzard.
The House of Commons voted for the Bill to be sent to a Public Bill Committee that will scrutinise the Bill line by line. What is the Bill? A Bill is a proposal for a new law, or a proposal to change an existing law, presented for debate before Parliament. A Bill can start in the Commons or the Lords and must be approved in the same form by both Houses before becoming an Act (law). This Bill will introduce Stalking Protection Orders to improve the safety of stalking victims.
Cheltenham MP, Alex Chalk, and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Victoria Atkins MP, both referenced Hollie and the Hollie Gazzard Trust during the debate. Read their comments below:
Alex Chalk MP
……The second case relates to the 20-year-old hairdresser, Hollie Gazzard, who was murdered in 2014 by an ex-partner. The point was ably made by the hon. Member for Rotherham (Sarah Champion) that stalking is all too often a gateway offence—if I can use that expression—leading to something even more serious. Indeed, some particularly powerful individuals have referred to it as murder in slow motion. Out of the tragedy of Hollie Gazzard’s death, her inspirational family—her parents Nick and Mandy and her sister Chloe—have set up the Hollie Gazzard Trust in Gloucestershire to improve protection for the victims of stalking in Gloucestershire and beyond. I am grateful to the mayor of Cheltenham for including the trust as one of her charities…..
Victoria Atkins MP
…. also thank Members across the House for the very moving and, sadly, chilling experiences of stalking that they have presented on behalf of their constituents. I note in particular the speeches of my hon. Friends the Members for Cheltenham (Alex Chalk) and for Harborough (Neil O’Brien), who both mentioned Hollie Gazzard and Alice Ruggles. I have had the privilege of meeting the parents of Hollie and of Alice, who, along with the parents of Clare Bernal and of Rana Faruqui, have somehow found the wherewithal to grapple with the grief of losing their children through this awful offence, and then to set up charities to campaign on the issue. I want to express my admiration for all such parents who can find the strength to do that.