wrestling / News

APPG Opens Inquiry Into UK Wrestling Scene Over #SpeakingOut Allegations

September 27, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Jack Gallagher David Starr SpeakingOut

A parliamentary inquiry has officially been opened into the allegations made during the #SpeakingOut movement against the UK wrestling scene. As reported back in July, the UK government is acting in reaction to the movement that saw allegations levied at several prominent promoters, trainers, and wrestlers in the UK including David Starr, Jack Gallagher, and many others. At the time it was noted that a new All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) was being put together to look into the claims and the group announced late last week that an inquiry had officially begun:

The announcement notes that the inquiry’s purpose is to “investigate and evaluate the current successes, challenges and potential improvements that could be made into the professional wrestling industry in Britain” with the following goals:

“1. To inquire into the current status of British wrestling, the contribution the industry makes to Britain an the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its success.

2. To review whether the current law and regulations governing the industry are fit for purpose and to uncover models of good practice.

3. To make recommendations, rooted in best practice where possible, for frameworks to improve, or measures to support, the industry.”

The report notes that the APPG is seeking written submissions from interested parties that they will be taking until late November, with oral evidence to be taken in Parliament in October. A report is expected in early 2021. Alex Davies-Jones, the Labour MP who is the Chair and Registered contact for the group, spoke with the BBC about the stories she has heard from female talent in the country, saying, “The disturbing reality and lived experience for many female wrestlers is, more often than not, entrenched in misogyny. I have heard horrific tales from female wrestlers who were faced with threats of rape or sexual assault, all in the name of ‘friendly banter’. I have also heard from women as young as 13 or 14 who, at the start of their careers, were the targets of vile behaviours that saw male wrestlers competing to be the one to take their virginity.”

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Jeremy Thomas