Must Try Harder

Here Sadiq Khan MP responds for Labour on Criminal Justice “reforms” and PCT.

He offers some observations on Grayling we have all made,

“behaviour is not befitting of a lord chancellor”


“demonstrating to his right-wing backbenchers his credentials as a budget-slasher, rather than his determination to uphold the rule of law”

This, however, is about as positive as it gets. Here is the money quote:

The legal system cannot be insulated from pressure on the public purse. But I do not want a legal system with its integrity undermined. Instead, we need an urgent strategic review looking at the system in its entirety – from charge to prosecution to verdict – to examine whether our current system is fit for future challenges, rooting out inefficiency and bureaucracy. Confidence in the justice system is precarious at the best of times. It is far too precious to allow it to be undermined by ill-thought through, dogmatic proposals.

Sorry this is simply NOT good enough. We DO NOT need another “strategic review”, urgent or otherwise. There is no “inefficiency or bureaucracy” left to root out amongst criminal defence firms. Khan has bought into Grayling’s mendacious premise and repeats the central conceit behind these universally panned proposals. Yes they are “ill-thought through” but the main “dogmatic” attachment is to price competitive tendering, something with which Khan has previously agreed. That this is a considered response, not a hastily slung together press release, makes it all the worse.

Equality before the law is central to social justice. Legal Aid is as vital to the welfare state as the NHS and the benefits system. Is not protecting this, and those relying upon it, precisely the point of the Labour Party?

About Author: SP

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