Legal Aid

Will MP help save legal aid?

PUBLISHED July 16, 2007

I CHALLENGE Islington South and Finsbury MP Emily Thornberry to sign up to the What Price Justice? campaign and to act in Parliament to help save legal aid in this country.

Access to legal representation and advice is one of the main pillars of a fair society. Access to justice should not just be the preserve of the rich.

The government?s plans to reform legal aid are cuts disguised as efficiency reforms which will leave many vulnerable clients unrepresented. It is the magistrates? court work that bears the brunt of this, along with cuts to advice and representation on employment, immigration, welfare benefits, family law and injury claims.

A motion passed at our last council meeting criticised the government for its ill-thought-out plans, and called on the council executive to continue its work with voluntary groups providing advice services.

A cross-party group of MPs is supporting a motion in Parliament on the same issue. Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn supports the campaign and has put his name to it, so I want to ask: where is Emily Thornberry? Myself and others have asked her to sign the motion, and it is unacceptable for Ms Thornberry to keep silent on the matter.

Lib Dem, Hillrise