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Jeremy Corbyn To Hold Talks Over Safety Of Muslim Women On The Tube

The Labour leader will meet Transport for London on Friday, BuzzFeed News understands.

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Jeremy Corbyn is meeting London transport bosses to raise concerns over the safety of Muslim women on trains.

The Labour leader will sit down with Transport for London representatives on Friday to discuss how to make the capital's tube and bus network safer for Muslim women, BuzzFeed News understands.

Hate crimes against Muslims in London soared by 47% in the 12 months to October 2015, according to latest police figures. Most incidents related to harassment, with women being threatened and some even having their headscarves pulled off.

The private meeting was organised by Corbyn's office and is understood to relate to concerns raised by a constituent in Islington North.

When he was running for the Labour leadership last summer, Corbyn floated the idea of women-only rail carriages at night to prevent sexual assaults. But he suffered a backlash over the proposal, with his Labour rivals opposing the idea of "outdated" segregated travel.

Corbyn said at the time that too many women felt "uncomfortable, anxious, and unsafe just going about their daily routines". In a statement he said: "It is simply unacceptable that many women and girls adapt their daily lives in order to avoid being harassed on the street, public transport and in other public places from the park to the supermarket."

BuzzFeed News spoke to Muslim victims of hate crime last year. Khadija Gulamhusein, 26, a chartered accountant from Harrow in northwest London, was approached by a man on the Jubilee Line who made throat-slitting gestures to her.

"He was on the train for two or three minutes and then he really slowly walked over to me – I thought he was going to sit down next to me because there were some empty seats," she said.

"But then he started making strange gestures, these slashing gestures at his throat. At first I wasn't sure if he was crazy, then he kept on doing it, as if he was going to slit my throat. It lasted about 30 seconds. Then he made a cross gesture across his face, and then the train stopped and he got off.

"It was really bizarre and scary. I wasn't expecting it and he was looking at me in a really threatening way."

Emily Ashton is a senior political correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Emily Ashton at emily.ashton@buzzfeed.com.

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