An MP has raised the harrowing case of a constituent who suffered abuse at the hands of a member of the Church of England, urging Theresa May to commit to introducing mandatory reporting across all institutions.

At Prime Minsters Questions today, Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin raised the case of sexual abuse survivor Matthew Ineson to highlight the importance of mandatory reporting and its power to prevent child sexual abuse.

Mr Ineson, who watched the exchange, criticised the Prime Minister’s response as “weak and evasive”.

Ms Brabin said to the Prime Minister in the House of Commons: “My constituent Matthew is one of those very brave people who’ve waived their anonymity around abuse they suffered at the hands of a member of the Church of England.

“The Prime Minister will be very aware of the harrowing evidence coming out of the Independent Inquiry into child sexual abuse which could have been prevented if a law on mandatory reporting had been in place.

“International evidence shows mandatory reporting doubles the number of children placed into safety when introduced.

“Will the Prime Minister commit to protect children and introduce mandatory reporting across all institutions including the Church of England?”

In response, Theresa May expressed sympathy for Matthew’s suffering but would not commit to introducing mandatory reporting across all institutions, saying the evidence of its effectiveness was “mixed”.

Mr Ineson believes a law that requires mandatory reporting is vital to protect against further abuse and suffering. Ms Brabin agreed saying that it is also an opportunity to protect staff who may feel concerned as to how they report abuse if they see or suspect it. Staff could easily decide to forget what they witnessed in order to keep their jobs. Mandatory reporting protects both victims and by-standers.

Mr Ineson said: “I am very grateful to my MP Tracy Brabin for raising the hugely important question on mandatory reporting of abuse to the prime minister in the house today.

“Tracy raises a very important issue, namely, why does this country not have a law that makes it mandatory to report disclosures or awareness of abuse to the police?

“I am grateful to the Prime Minister for her best wishes. However, I found her answer to Tracy's question somewhat weak and evasive.

“I would be happy to meet with Theresa May to share my experience of childhood sexual abuse by a member of the Church of England and to discuss with her the issues raised today.”