August 4, 2018

Cuts to Legal Aid

As a former legal aid solicitor for nearly thirty years, I have experienced at first hand the impact of the cuts particularly over the last eight years, to the scope and availability of legal aid both in terms of its impacts on citizens but also, the numbers and available access to those solicitors who have managed to continue to undertake …

Continue reading
June 24, 2016

Trial of Thomas Mair – Guidelines on Contempt of Court

Yesterday, along with my colleague and Shadow Attorney General, Karl Turner MP, I circulated this advice and guidance on avoiding risk of contempt of court, to fellow MPs and members of the House of Lords. I would ask anyone who uses social media and publishes blogs to please read it carefully and bear it in mind. Thank you. “It is clear to …

Continue reading
February 23, 2016

Disgrace Over Prisons Not Fit for Habitation

Last week we heard from the Prime Minister about his hopes and dreams of prison reform for England and Wales, how he wanted to see “a modern, more effective, truly 21st century prison system”. He spoke of his optimism for rehabilitating prisoners into “potential assets” and his vision of reforming prisons so that they “empower staff, charities and businesses to innovate …

Continue reading
January 8, 2016

Appointment as Shadow Minister for Justice

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 …

Continue reading
September 24, 2015

Assisted Dying (No.2) Private Members’ Bill

I received a very large amount of correspondence from constituents about the Assisted Dying (No. 2) Private Members’ Bill and I wanted to take time to consider all the correspondence properly, together with all of the issues that it raises, before reaching an informed conclusion about the Bill, which was debated on 11th September. MPs were given a free vote on …

Continue reading
April 7, 2014

Save Legal Aid Rally

On 1st April I took part in a rally with Justice Alliance UK and Napo, the National Union of Probation Officers, standing up to Chris Grayling’s flawed justice policies. Cuts to Legal Aid are denying people access to justice and privatisation of the probation service – with companies like Sodexo, Serco and G4S running probation – will lead to job losses and will …

Continue reading