The number of murders of domestic violence has reached a five-year high, as new figures show.

According to BBC data from 43 police forces across the UK, 173 people died in domestic violence homicide last year.

The statistics reported on Friday show that there were 165 domestic killings in 2014, 2015 160, 2016 139 and 2017 141.

The new data was released after Prime Minister Boris Johnson had promised to reintroduce the law against domestic abuse in the Queen's next speech.

Mr. Johnson tweeted on Thursday, "Domestic abuse destroys lives and tears families apart.

"We are fully committed to fighting this terrible crime, so the Queen's speech will confirm that we will reintroduce the law against domestic abuse at the next meeting."

Sir James Munby, former president of the Family Department of the High Court of England and Wales, has called for the Domestic Violence Law to be brought before Parliament.

He said on BBC Radio 4's Today broadcast, "This is a very important bill. To tackle what everyone agrees with is a very big social evil.

"It is immensely depressing that nothing has been done to achieve this necessary reform by the Parliament."

Sir James added: "The bill must be resubmitted to Parliament as soon as the next session begins.

"It must then be conducted with the determination, drive and genuine sense of urgency of government involvement to complete the parliamentary process as soon as possible.

"What the Prime Minister does or does not do will be a crucial litmus test of his genuine commitment to protecting the vulnerable, disadvantaged and oppressed people in our society."

The Domestic Abuse Act was introduced in Parliament in July.

Sir James Munby has called for the law against domestic violence to be brought before Parliament (Kirsty O'Connor, PA).

The proposals would better protect those fleeing from violence by imposing a new legal obligation on councils to provide them and their children with a secure home.

It would also introduce the first statutory definition of domestic abuse by the government, which would include economic abuse and control as well as manipulative non-physical behavior.

Earlier this month, former Prime Minister Theresa May's decision to honor her favorite cricketer, Sir Geoffrey Boycott, was convicted in France in 1998 for beating his then-girlfriend in a hotel on the Riviera.

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Geoffrey Boycott, convicted of assaulting a girlfriend in 1998, has denied criticism of his knighthood of Theresa May (Mike Egerton, PA)

While activists said it was a "dangerous message" that "domestic abuse is not taken seriously as a crime," Sir Geoffrey said he could "not litter" over criticism of his knighthood.