I have this week accepted an invitation to join the Labour front bench as Shadow Minister for Justice with responsibility for prisons, probation, youth justice and sentencing. I am joining the shadow justice team led by Lord Charlie Falconer.

Prior to my election in May 2015 I was a solicitor and director of a national firm of trade union solicitors. I spent ten years practising criminal defence law and acted for many trade unions involved in the justice system.

First and foremost I will continue to represent my constituents in Cardiff Central as an effective, visible and accessible MP. It’ll be business as usual for me and my team in Albany Road.

I’m delighted, though, to be joining Labour’s front bench justice team at this important time. I intend to use my background and experience in the justice sector to challenge the Government to address serious issues in both the prison and probation service as a result of their failed policies.

With assaults on prison staff and prisoner suicides at their highest ever levels, together with the botched privatisation of probation resulting in mass job losses, the Secretary of State and his team really need to up their game.

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