Justice Questions BBC Parliament on BBC Two


Justice Questions

Members of the House of Commons put questions to justice secretary Liz Truss and her team of ministers, from Tuesday 6 September.


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Order, order.

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Questions to the Secretary of State for Justice.

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Mr Dominic Raab.

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Number one.

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First of all, I would like to pay tribute to the work done

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by my honourable friend on human rights reform as a minister

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in this department.

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He is a great champion of liberty.

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This Government is committed to scrapping the Human Rights Act

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and introducing a British Bill of Rights.

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Dominic Raab.

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Thank you, Mr Speaker.

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At the outset, it is an honour to be the first honourable member

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to welcome the new Justice Secretary and the new front bench team

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to their posts.

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I wish them every success.

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Can I, personally, from experience, assure her that being a lawyer

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is of very limited value in her departments, no offence

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to the Minister of State!

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Britain's decision to leave the EU will remove the jurisdiction

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of the Luxembourg court, probably the biggest obstacle

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to delivering a Bill of Rights.

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Can I welcome her in continuing with this reform and ask

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the government to provide consultation as soon as possible?

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I thank my honourable friend for his question.

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This is an important reform, we need to get it right.

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We will be introducing proposals in due course,

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we will deliver on this manifesto commitment.

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Which convention rights does the Justice Secretary propose

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to leave out of the Bill of Rights?

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I thank the honourable gentleman for his question.

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I remember with fondness our time together on the Justice select

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committee, where he had many good thoughts to put

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forward at that time.

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We will be putting out our proposals in due course that will discuss this

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issue in detail.

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One of the important points is that we want to see the ultimate

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arbiter of those rights be the Supreme Court of

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the United Kingdom.

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Charlie Elphicke.

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Does the Secretary of State agree with me that one of the problems

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with the current setup is the code includes many reservations

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and qualifications which the European Court does not embrace,

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and a British Bill of Rights could ensure that there is proper

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balance and the interest of justice can be served?

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My honourable friend makes a very good point, that is absolutely

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the reason that we want to pursue a British Bill of Rights

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that'll put that in place.

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Alistair Carmichael.

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If we are to have the Supreme Court as the ultimate arbiter, does this

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mean that if the Lord Chancellor wants to withdraw from

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the European Convention?

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The Prime Minister has been very clear that leaving the easy HR

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is not something that we will pursue.

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Julian Brazier.

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Could I too welcome my right honourable friend to her post,

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and her determination to proceed with a British Bill of Rights?

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Could I urge her to remember that the cornerstone of the rule

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of law in this country has always been the sovereignty of Parliament,

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could I urge her not to listen to those who argue that somehow

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or other getting rid of an act which came 40 years after we had

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signed up to the European Convention on human rights somehow or other

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undermines our position within the treaty?

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He is absolutely right, human rights were not invented

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in 1998 with the Human Rights Act.

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We have a strong record of the country of human rights

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dating back to Magna Carta.

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The British Bill of Rights is going to be the next step

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in enshrining those rights in our laws.

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May I welcome the Secretary of State to her new role and say that well,

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of course it is not a prerequisite for her role to be a lawyer,

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she will no doubt wish to listen carefully to any legal advice

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she receives in order...

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Relation to any proposals to reform the law.

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There was almost universal opposition to the repeal

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of the Human Rights Act in Scotland, reflected in the Scottish parliament

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and across Scottish Civic Society.

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On the 11th of August I wrote to the Government of Britain seeking

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clarification on the plans of the so-called reform

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to the Human Rights Act.

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I have yet to receive a substantive response.

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At what stage in her plans with the Secretary of State seek

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to consult with the Scottish Government, and can she confirmed

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that she will listen to and respect the answer?

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I thank her for her question.

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I have already had a number of legal meetings on this issue and I am sure

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I will enjoy working with the legal profession in this role.

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The Prime Minister has already had a very good meeting

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with the First Minister of Scotland, I will be meeting the Scottish

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justice minister shortly to discuss a number of issues.

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Order, I apologise, I had not realised that the honourable

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and Leonard lady wanted a second bite of herself.

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LAUGHTER I was rather hoping to have the second bite

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of Her Majesty's Government.

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I thank the Secretary of State for her early response.

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If she has been having legal meetings about the Human Rights Act

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she would have been advised that human rights are not a reserved

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matter, therefore the Scottish Parliament must be consulted

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regarding any legislation with regard to human rights.

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During the independence rep around, Scotland was told it was an equal

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partner in this union.

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Did she appreciate that to repeal the Human Rights Act across the UK

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would fly in the face of that promise and exacerbate

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the democratic deficit that already exists in Scotland,

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where a Tory Government we did not vote for is planning to take us out

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of the European Union against our will?

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I thank her for her question.

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I would point out that this was in the Conservative Party

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manifesto, we secured a majority at the general election.

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As I said, I will be in touch with the Scottish justice minister

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and look forward to talking to him on the subject.

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Richard Bergen.

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Thank you again, Mr Speaker.

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I would like to welcome the Secretary of State

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to her new role.

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It is good to see a Leeds person at both dispatch boxes.

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Like me, I understand that she comes from good left-wing Leeds stock,

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I look forward to our exchanges.

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In her swearing-in ceremony, the Justice Secretary quoted

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with approval the late Lord Bingham.

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On the Human Rights Act, Lord Bingham asked in 2009,

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which of these rights, I asked, would you wish to discard?

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And went on to say there may be those who would like to live

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in a country where these rights are not protected,

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but I am not of their number.

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To get the Secretary of State another chance, because she failed

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to answer the question from my honourable friend the member

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for Kingston-upon-Hull earlier, which of these rights did

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she wish to discard?

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I also welcome the honourable gentleman to the dispatch box,

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it is great to have somebody who is also from Leeds facing me.

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And to highlight the error of my ways after growing up

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in a left-wing household in that great city.

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LAUGHTER All I can say is I believe that everyone is capable of reform,

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even those, Mr Speaker, on the benches opposite.

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I have not given up hope yet on the Shadow Secretary of State

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for Health adjusters.

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The whole purpose of the Bill of Rights is to enhance human

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rights in this country.

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We have leading human rights since Magna Carta,

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the Bill of Rights published in Wales in 1689, and we will

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continue to lead the world in human rights.

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Thank you very much to the Secretary of State for that response.

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But we were very clear that we will replace

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the Human Rights Act, which is not working for British

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people, with a British Bill of Rights.

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It gives the ultimate power to citizens in this country.

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These were the words of the Secretary of State

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on the today programme in May 20 15.

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Given that and the answer she has just given, can she explain

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to the house why she wants to rob the people of Britain

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of their rights, and will she admits that talk of a so-called bill

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of rights is simply posturing and making concessions to the hard

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right of the Conservative Party?

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Human rights were not invented in 1998 with the Human Rights Act.

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There are major issues with the Human Rights Act.

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We need to move forward, had a British Bill of Rights that

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enshrines our ancient liberties.

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We do now need to make progress, as there are lots of questions,

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and progress has been slow so far.

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Can we be speeded up by Mr John Mann?

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Hate crime is abhorrent and has no place in society,

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the Government published its plan to tackle hate crime,

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Action Against Hate, in July 20 16.

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The Government believes that the enforcement of criminal

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legislation has an important role in tackling online hate,

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Willie deterrence and prevention which needs a broader response

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and effective management from the Internet industry.

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Last time I asked the Secretary of State question she invited me to

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join her on a delegation to China.

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May I reciprocate and invite the front bench to come to Bassetlaw

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May I reciprocate and invite the front bench to come to Bassetlaw

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today in the Jubilee room, hosted by myself and the member for Newark?

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True Vision, the Internet reporting organisation based in her officers,

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is the pride and joy of her department and the envy

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of every other Government in the world.

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Is she going to allow it to disappear into some other

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government departments, or will she keep it

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in her department?

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I thank him for his characteristically delivered

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question.

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The Secretary of State, I gather, recently wrote to him

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on this matter.

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The cross government hate crime programme is highly regarded by this

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government, and internationally.

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I am committed to ensuring that this important work continues.

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I would like to welcome my honourable friend.

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The government was right to make posting revenge porn online crime.

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Figures released today show that have been 200 prosecutions,

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yet more than 1000 reported cases of revenge pornography

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reported to the police.

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Does the Minister agree with me that as with other sex-related crimes,

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perhaps anonymity for victims needs to be carefully considered

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in these cases?

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I thank my honourable friend for this question and the work

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she and the select committee do in this area, it is a terrible abuse

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of trust which can leave victims feeling the bated and degraded.

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By making it a specific offence can offence we've sent clear message

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this will not be tolerated, with regard to anonymity I'm

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interested in what she's saying she would write me on that issue

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I will consider it.

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Can I welcome the Minister to his post and ask if he has seen

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the comments the Director of Public Prosecutions

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this morning that social media is one of the driving forces behind

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the record high in recorded crimes, violent crimes against women

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and girls, and welcomed what he said about needing a broader response

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to these issues.

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Can he tell me what he plans to do to safeguard the many specialist

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services that exist to support women who are suffering online

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harassment and abuse, many of which are suffering

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from funding cuts?

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As I already stated, this crime is deplorable.

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I suspect it has always happened and social media has facilitated it

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and we are now detecting a greater level of crime of this kind.

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I am determined to maintain services that support women and men

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who are subjected to this crime and will continue to keep a close

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eye on that.

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What action is the Government taking to combat online anti-Semitic hate

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crime emanating from extremist groups on campus?

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Like revenge porn, these are all pulling crimes,

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more easily committed by the internet and use of anonymity

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with specifically regards to anti-Semitism, thanks

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to the fantastic work for the member for Bassetlaw and his all-party

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group, the Government has made significant advances

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and I will consider her comments, particularly on campus.

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In the last year, assaults have risen by 31% and those on staff

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in our prisons have risen by 40%.

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This is totally an acceptable and I'm determined to tackle it.

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Reforming prisons will only be possible if they are made safer

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places for staff and offenders alike.

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The section of state makes clear prisons safety continues

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to deteriorate and is a major problem putting prisoners

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and staff at risk, but the major issue that must be tackled

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is the retention of staff.

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Can she set out what she will do to make this a priority and how

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she will succeed her predecessors have failed?

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I agree with the honourable lady that retention of staff

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is a very important issue.

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I've been to a number of prisons and seen how brave, fearless

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and hardworking our prison officers are, they are a vital in turning

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around offenders and getting them the education and skills they need

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to succeed outside and I'm determined to support

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them and work with them.

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Over the coming months, I will lay out more detailed plans.

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May I warmly welcome the secretary of state and her team

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to their posts, lawyers do sometimes have their uses.

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Her predecessor made prison reform a centrepiece of the agenda,

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he rightly described the deterioration in safety

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and prisons as terrible.

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The figures have now got worse, he committed to an action plan

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to tackle violence in our prisons.

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Will she reaffirm that?

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Can she tell us what specific steps will be taken to deal

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with what is a ticking time bomb that we have

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in our criminal justice system?

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Because nothing else works if that isn't right.

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Can I first say how pleased I've been to be able to meet the chairman

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of the select committee, I take the advice of all my lawyers,

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but particularly the chairman of the select committee,

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extremely seriously.

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This is a critical issue that faces our prisons.

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We cannot have reform in our prisons if we don't have safe prisons

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for people to work in.

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These things go hand-in-hand and I'm committed to an agenda

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of making our prisons safe and places of reform,

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I will lay out my plan is very shortly on this issue and I look

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forward to discussing it more with the select committee tomorrow.

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Will the Secretary of State look again at statements that were made

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by her department recently around numbers of prison officers,

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her department claims the number has increased, it hasn't

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and when will she look again because I believe they have not

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taken into account staff being regretted

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or the number of hours actually work when she examines the number

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of officers in the system.

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I thank the honourable lady for her question, I will of course

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look at those numbers in detail and I'm looking at them just now.

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What I would say as well as the number of staff,

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it is important how staff are deployed and how staff

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are trained and the Paras the governors have to be able to get

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the best out of the staff working in the prisons.

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I agree, staff are crucial to make our prisons work well.

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One of the causes of lack of safety and prisons has been

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psychoactive substances, with the secretary agree with me

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that the ban on possession of the substances in prison should

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improve the safety of other prisoners and prison officers

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if that ban is properly enforced?

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My honourable friend is right, they have, MPS have been a major

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issue in our prisons.

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I was pleased when I visited HMP Norwich last week to see

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they are using the new legislation to tackle that issue.

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They search and catch people out and they are succeeding in reducing

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the amount of usage of that drug already.

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I would like more of this type of programme happening more

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across our prison estate.

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Forgive me, I think the summer recess has taken its toll, I am

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determined to ensure our prisons are places of safety and reform,

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we need to help get offenders of drugs, improve their education

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and get the work skills they need so they are less likely

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to reoffend when they come out.

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Could she answer this question, does she see a connection

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between the long-term decline in prison officer numbers down 30%

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between 2010 and 2013 and they are going down again

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and this massive increase on assaults on staff,

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90% up on the last month?

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I thank the honourable gentleman for his question, there are many

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factors driving prison violence and self harm, I am looking

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I am looking at the evidence about what will work

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and what steps we can take, but I'm

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determined to tackle this and I'm very clear the current levels of

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violence we have are unacceptable.

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Can I warmly congratulate the secretary of state

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and the new ministerial team on their appointment,

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of course we need more prison officers but can of these extra

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of state and their ministers to look at greater use

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of prisoners as mentors.

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Wandsworth is leading the way with 50 mentors teaching

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education, but we can also do this in terms of both employment

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for therapeutic use and to cut down the use of drugs.

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I referred to that my honourable friend and as group to prison

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minister who's done tremendous work and we're learning from the work

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he carried out in the Department.

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He makes an important point and I think we need to look

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at overall prison culture in some of our best prisons,

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we do have exemplary work going on such as mentoring

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and we have to make sure that is happening

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across our prison estate.

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The Secretary of State might be aware the head of the prison service

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in Northern Ireland recently stepped down, attacks on prison staff

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are on the rise, can she ensure her department

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is engaging actively with the Department of Justice

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in Northern Ireland to see what lessons can be learned

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and to try and improve safety and prisons in Northern Ireland?

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I thank the honourable gentleman for his question,

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I have been in touch with the Justice minister

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in Northern Ireland and I look forward to speaking

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to her in due course.

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May I congratulate the secretary of state on her appointment,

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is part of the problem that we have so many Victorian prisons?

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The honourable gentleman is right.

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We have a big issue with prisons that are out of date and not

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fit for purpose.

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It makes it more difficult for our excellent governors

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and officers to manage well.

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I'm pleased to say this summer we were able to close

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Holloway prison.

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We have our ?1.3 billion building programme and what I want to see his

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new modern prison built, so that we can see prisoners get

0:21:360:21:45

the education and work then as required

0:21:450:21:46

in outside life.

0:21:460:21:48

As McGeeney to succeed.

0:21:480:21:49

And close down some of our most dilapidated and outdated prisons.

0:21:490:21:52

It is crucial that victims of crime are supported as effectively

0:21:520:21:55

as possible, the victims called was revised in 2015, victims of all,

0:21:550:21:58

no fences after entitled to support from a wide range of organisation

0:21:580:22:01

as well as criminal justice agencies.

0:22:010:22:04

The reforms the court will improve services for victims

0:22:040:22:06

and their families got ensemble to give evidence

0:22:060:22:08

remotely and digitally.

0:22:080:22:09

Over 23,000 individual crimes reported in Enfield over the past 12

0:22:090:22:12

months, for far too long the victims of these crimes have been forgotten

0:22:120:22:16

and ignored by the criminal justice system.

0:22:160:22:18

Given that the victims commissioner support the introduction of a long

0:22:180:22:21

for victims of crime, when will the Government

0:22:210:22:23

fulfil its election manifesto commitment to bring forward

0:22:230:22:25

legislation on the issue?

0:22:250:22:26

I thank the honourable lady for her question.

0:22:260:22:28

We want to make sure all vulnerable and intimidated witnesses can give

0:22:280:22:32

the best evidence in court and feel less anxious,

0:22:320:22:34

we are committed to making sure victims of crime get the support

0:22:340:22:37

they need.

0:22:370:22:38

We have protected the overall level of funding

0:22:380:22:40

for victims across the spending review period and have announced

0:22:400:22:46

funding of over 95 million pounds in 2016 to find

0:22:460:22:49

critical support services.

0:22:490:22:55

Victims of crime want to see the perpetrators of that

0:22:550:22:57

crime properly punished.

0:22:570:22:58

Is the minister happy that prisoners are automatically released halfway

0:22:580:23:02

through their prison sentence, no matter how disruptive

0:23:020:23:09

they are or much how much of a threat they still pose,

0:23:090:23:16

or does he agree that prisoners should serve the sentence

0:23:160:23:20

as was handed down by the courts in full?

0:23:200:23:24

I thank my honourable friend for his question.

0:23:240:23:27

The purpose of justice and the justice system must be

0:23:270:23:29

the primary goal to reduce reoffending.

0:23:290:23:31

If somebody in prison has been assessed and is deemed not a risk

0:23:310:23:34

to society and is being properly rehabilitated, it is in the best

0:23:340:23:38

interests of that individual and for that person to be released.

0:23:380:23:41

Too often the victims of criminal driving,

0:23:410:23:42

they are and their families are not treated as victims of crime,

0:23:420:23:52

told they were involved in an accident.

0:23:520:24:02

When will that be changed and can the Minister tell us

0:24:020:24:07

when we will finally get the review into the sentencing of these

0:24:070:24:10

types of offences?

0:24:100:24:15

Thank you for the question.

0:24:150:24:18

I don't see that as part of my purview but if he would write

0:24:180:24:22

to me I will reply to him on this issue.

0:24:220:24:24

I would agree victims in these situations need more protection

0:24:240:24:27

and the culture needs to change.

0:24:270:24:29

The best ways to ensure justice is served is to ensure victims

0:24:290:24:32

have the chance to make a victim impact statement to the court

0:24:320:24:35

but this does not always happen.

0:24:350:24:37

What can the Minister do to ensure this happens in every case?

0:24:370:24:40

I thank the honourable gentleman for his question.

0:24:400:24:42

As I understand it, they are getting more opportunity to do this now

0:24:420:24:46

because of the opportunity to do this online.

0:24:460:24:48

I would agree that this is something that

0:24:480:24:50

should be put in place.

0:24:500:24:52

As has been mentioned earlier, today's report on violence

0:24:520:24:54

against women and girls shows an increase in prosecutions,

0:24:540:24:57

however victims charities remain concerned about their futures

0:24:570:25:02

as was stated by the chair of the police and crime commissioners

0:25:020:25:05

supporting the group when asking the ministry to clarify

0:25:050:25:07

funding available to be cc earlier this year.

0:25:070:25:10

The minister told my honourable friend for Wigan that he would be

0:25:100:25:13

keeping an eye on this matter, which is not good enough

0:25:130:25:17

with respect.

0:25:170:25:24

Will the secretary of state confirm victim services will receive

0:25:240:25:28

the full funding required?

0:25:280:25:31

The victim services budget has increased significantly from ?48

0:25:310:25:40

million to around ?95 pounds in the current financial year.

0:25:400:25:53

In 2016 and 17 we have allocated about ?7 billion to 99 rape support

0:25:530:25:56

centres providing up to male and female victims of rape

0:25:560:25:59

and child sexual abuse.

0:25:590:26:00

I do not recognise the description the shadow minister has given,

0:26:000:26:03

this Government is committed to protecting victims,

0:26:030:26:05

particularly women who have been victims of crime.

0:26:050:26:07

Question number six.

0:26:070:26:08

The illicit use of mobile phones in prison undermines security,

0:26:080:26:11

order and control and has been linked to many forms of criminality.

0:26:110:26:14

This Government is determined to take action to stop it?

0:26:140:26:17

The connection between technology and radicalisation by

0:26:170:26:19

the dissemination of extremism in prisons is one of the most

0:26:190:26:22

critical challenges we face.

0:26:220:26:23

Will my honourable friend continue to do all that is possible

0:26:230:26:26

to ensure that prisoners, who already face difficulties

0:26:260:26:31

re-engaging in with society, do not have a difficult task made

0:26:310:26:34

impossible by those who would use mobile phones and technology

0:26:340:26:36

to spread extremist poisoning?

0:26:360:26:41

My honourable friend will have no doubt seen the Government response

0:26:410:26:44

to the review on extremism.

0:26:440:26:46

We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure extremist ideologies

0:26:460:26:49

are not spread by any means, including mobile phones.

0:26:490:27:01

There have been reports in Swansea prison of people simply throwing

0:27:010:27:04

mobile phones over the wall, which provides anonymity

0:27:040:27:06

for prisoners to indulge in all sorts of criminal activity.

0:27:060:27:09

What is he doing about this sort of thing?

0:27:090:27:12

He makes a very important point, every governor I have spoken

0:27:120:27:14

to in the last six weeks has mentioned the growing problem

0:27:140:27:17

of illegal mobile phones in prison.

0:27:170:27:20

I believe technology is vital to detect and block these

0:27:200:27:22

phones, so in addition to the range of technologies already deployed

0:27:220:27:29

across the prison estate, we have held a high-level meeting

0:27:290:27:32

with mobile network operators asking them to use their expertise

0:27:320:27:34

to develop new technological solutions to deny mobile

0:27:340:27:36

phone signals in prisons.

0:27:360:27:52

As responsible businesses, I expect these operators

0:27:520:27:53

to fully cooperate.

0:27:530:27:54

Question seven.

0:27:540:28:00

There is and there will be an appropriate level of corporate

0:28:000:28:05

vision for the people of Bury.

0:28:050:28:09

Thank you, and I warmly welcome my honourable and learned

0:28:090:28:12

friend to his new role, and thank you for that brief reply.

0:28:120:28:15

While school provision might be regarded as adequate now,

0:28:150:28:18

what is important is that it continues to be

0:28:180:28:20

adequate in the future.

0:28:200:28:29

And with the new Lord Chancellor and a new ministerial team,

0:28:290:28:32

could I ask that they look again at the proposals

0:28:320:28:35

for North Manchester, particularly the consequential

0:28:350:28:37

effects on, for example, the police budget as the police

0:28:370:28:40

are faced with longer journey times when they attend court?

0:28:400:28:42

I am immensely indebted to the honourable gentleman.

0:28:420:28:44

Can I start by paying tribute to the work that my honourable

0:28:440:28:48

friend has done, and for the proposals that he has put

0:28:480:28:51

forward about his local court situation.

0:28:510:29:02

He will know, as a lawyer as well, that we are investing huge amounts

0:29:020:29:09

of money, ?1 billion, to transform Court Tribunerals.

0:29:090:29:11

This modern technology improves efficiency and means fewer people

0:29:110:29:14

need to attend court in person.

0:29:140:29:15

There are excellent facilities are available to the people

0:29:150:29:18

of Bury and Manchester, which has some of the best

0:29:180:29:20

courts in the country.

0:29:200:29:21

The Minister will know that the proposals across the whole

0:29:210:29:25

of Greater Manchester are quite far reaching and controversial in parts

0:29:250:29:28

of that city region.

0:29:280:29:34

Can he explain to the house is precisely what has been agreed

0:29:340:29:37

with the Greater Manchester combined authority in the memorandum

0:29:370:29:40

of understanding that his department has signed with them,

0:29:400:29:43

and whether or not it means the combined authority can look

0:29:430:29:47

again at some of those procedures?

0:29:470:29:52

Of course, he will realise that none of these decisions is taken lightly

0:29:520:29:56

and it is important to work closely with local government.

0:29:560:30:02

That is exactly what has been happening.

0:30:020:30:04

Just to give him an impression of the tremendous improvement

0:30:040:30:08

that this court modernisation programme is making,

0:30:080:30:10

it has been going for four months and 6 million pieces of paper have

0:30:100:30:14

been avoided as a result, that is a pile of paper,

0:30:140:30:17

using digital case files.

0:30:170:30:19

6 million pieces of paper avoided, meaning a pile as high

0:30:190:30:20

as the largest building in London, the Shard.

0:30:220:30:27

Huntington is a splendid part of the world which deserves to be

0:30:270:30:31

very well represented by the honourable gentleman,

0:30:310:30:32

but it is a long way from Bury, to which this

0:30:320:30:35

question exclusively relates.

0:30:350:30:43

The question is about Bury.

0:30:430:30:45

He can come in later and I look forward to hearing from him.

0:30:450:30:50

This information is published by the legal professions.

0:30:500:30:57

For example, 13% of QCs are women and 6% of QCs declare themselves

0:30:570:31:05

as coming from a BAME background.

0:31:050:31:10

That shows a very limited progress.

0:31:100:31:12

What can the Government do to improve this?

0:31:120:31:21

I thank him for his question. do to improve this?

0:31:210:31:24

We want a justice system that works for everyone, a legal services

0:31:240:31:28

industry using all the talent in our country.

0:31:280:31:30

I have already had very positive conversations with the Lord Chief

0:31:300:31:36

Justice, who is keen to improve diversity figures in the judiciary,

0:31:360:31:42

and I am due to meet the bar Council shortly to talk

0:31:420:31:45

specifically about the bar.

0:31:450:31:47

What assessment has my right honourable friend made

0:31:470:31:50

of opportunities to increase apprenticeship-based routes

0:31:500:31:53

into the legal professions and the prison services,

0:31:530:31:55

to increase social mobility?

0:31:550:31:56

I thank him for his question, I am a huge fan of apprenticeships.

0:31:560:32:00

With the new apprenticeship levy, that brings a big opportunity

0:32:000:32:03

for some of our large legal services firms,

0:32:030:32:05

but right across the board to increase the number

0:32:050:32:07

of apprenticeships.

0:32:070:32:18

It is something I will talk to them about over the coming months.

0:32:180:32:24

As one London provider of legal education, fees for the academic

0:32:240:32:27

year ahead are as follows, nearly ?11,000 for the graduate

0:32:270:32:31

diploma in law, over ?15,000 for the legal practice course

0:32:310:32:33

and almost ?19,000 for the bar professional training course.

0:32:330:32:36

On top of the cost of university education, these fees

0:32:360:32:39

are beyond the reach of many from ordinary backgrounds.

0:32:390:32:41

Given this reality, how will the Minister ensure

0:32:410:32:43

a diverse legal profession?

0:32:430:32:51

I thank him for his question.

0:32:510:32:54

I have been discussing this right across the legal profession.

0:32:540:33:05

One of the issues that we have is that the younger end,

0:33:050:33:09

we are seeing a lot more diversity, the question is how people progress

0:33:090:33:12

through the pipeline.

0:33:120:33:13

I would like to see more transparency so we can look

0:33:130:33:16

at people moving through the system.

0:33:160:33:18

I have no doubt that with the Lord Chief Justice

0:33:180:33:20

and leading judges, they want to see more diversity and they are

0:33:200:33:24

keen to work with me.

0:33:240:33:25

Number nine.

0:33:250:33:25

With your permission, I will group this with question 15.

0:33:250:33:29

Prisons must become places of rehabilitation where offenders

0:33:290:33:33

can change their lives and turn away from crime, addressing health needs

0:33:330:33:36

including mental health is key in this.

0:33:360:33:38

We are committed to meeting the mental health needs

0:33:380:33:41

of prisoners.

0:33:410:33:42

All prisons must have procedures in place to identify,

0:33:420:33:44

manage and support those with mental illnesses.

0:33:440:33:48

Can the Minister confirm that governors will have new powers

0:33:480:33:51

and abilities to run their own mental health and health budgets,

0:33:510:33:58

and will that also include co-commissioning of mental health

0:33:580:34:04

services with local CCGs?

0:34:040:34:09

It is under consideration at present, I think commissioners

0:34:090:34:12

have an important part to play in helping to structure health care

0:34:120:34:15

services within prison.

0:34:150:34:31

Does the Department have a figure for the numbers in prison

0:34:310:34:34

at the moment who have mental health issues, would my honourable friend

0:34:340:34:37

reassure me that prison staff are adequately trained to deal

0:34:370:34:40

with those people exhibiting mental health issues?

0:34:400:34:42

I thank him for his question.

0:34:420:34:43

Based on a Ministry of Justice survey, 49% of prisoners

0:34:430:34:46

were assessed as being at risk from anxiety and/ or depression,

0:34:460:34:49

16% reported symptoms indicative of psychosis.

0:34:490:34:51

Department of Health figures are somewhat different,

0:34:510:34:53

north of 90% of prisoners have a mental health problem

0:34:530:34:55

if you include substance misuse.

0:34:550:34:57

This is an area where I am seeking more data.

0:34:570:35:13

We are committed to meeting the mental health needs

0:35:130:35:16

of prisoners, which is why all new intake prison officers

0:35:160:35:18

receive mental health awareness training as part of

0:35:180:35:20

entry-level training.

0:35:200:35:21

100 people have taken their lives in prison in the past year,

0:35:210:35:24

the highest level for over 25 years.

0:35:240:35:26

Over 9000 people have self harmed in prisons, an increase of over 25%

0:35:260:35:30

in the last year alone.

0:35:300:35:35

I think the Government should be ashamed, I think it is a dereliction

0:35:350:35:39

of their duty of care.

0:35:390:35:40

I want to know what they will actually do to look at the thousands

0:35:400:35:44

of prisoners who had serious mental health conditions and are not

0:35:440:35:47

being looked after.

0:35:470:35:48

I thank the honourable lady for her question.

0:35:480:35:50

Mental health is pretty complex, the genesis of problems do not just

0:35:500:35:53

occur in the terms of the parliament.

0:35:530:36:06

The system in place in terms of mental health care

0:36:060:36:09

and the continuity of care for people before,

0:36:090:36:12

during and after their stay in prison is clearly not

0:36:120:36:14

worried should be.

0:36:140:36:15

I would argue that has been the case for many decades.

0:36:150:36:18

I have been asked to look at this and will be doing so,

0:36:180:36:21

but this is a huge and very complex area and I am not about to make

0:36:210:36:26

dispatch box commitments on it as a consequence.

0:36:260:36:28

But there is a particular risk for women in prison,

0:36:280:36:31

30% of women prisoners have had a previous admission

0:36:310:36:33

for a psychiatric problems before they went into prison.

0:36:330:36:36

In the last year, 11 women have killed themselves.

0:36:360:36:38

My impression is that this is because the last Secretary

0:36:380:36:41

of State did not focus on the recommendations of a report

0:36:410:36:44

which would have ensured a better level of mental health

0:36:440:36:46

for women in prison.

0:36:460:36:47

What is this minister going to do on this report,

0:36:470:36:50

and on women in prison?

0:36:500:37:01

I thank her for her question.

0:37:010:37:02

I have read that report, it is good.

0:37:020:37:05

It was published in 2007 and is still relevant today,

0:37:050:37:07

with some international coherence within another report

0:37:070:37:09

about youth offenders.

0:37:090:37:26

I will be looking at it and I am personally persuaded of some

0:37:260:37:29

of the arguments within.

0:37:290:37:30

But the idea that the former Secretary of State was in anyway not

0:37:300:37:34

keeping a close eye on this, I have seen no about.

0:37:340:37:36

Mr Speaker, Speaker...

0:37:360:37:37

Those convicted of sexual offences are just one cohort of the range

0:37:370:37:41

we manage daily.

0:37:410:37:47

In doing so, we shall make sure estate capacity is realigned

0:37:470:37:50

to meet the demand for places, including those convicted

0:37:500:37:52

of sexual offences.

0:37:520:37:53

I thank him for his reply.

0:37:530:37:55

HMP in my constituency has seen a huge surge in prisoners

0:37:550:37:58

for sexual offences, either on remand or

0:37:580:38:00

serving a sentence.

0:38:000:38:11

This puts massive pressure on staffing, space and resources.

0:38:110:38:13

What specific advice can he give HMP Lewes?

0:38:130:38:15

Those served with sexual offences at HMP Lewes and general are held

0:38:150:38:19

in separate units providing suitable accommodation for their

0:38:190:38:21

offending behaviour.

0:38:210:38:38

Perhaps I can reassure her that the prison received over ?100,000

0:38:380:38:41

of a ?12 million Government fund for safety, planning

0:38:410:38:43

to spend this on staff.

0:38:430:38:44

There is a recruitment drive is going on at the moment.

0:38:440:38:47

Staff are being vetted, a number of staff will

0:38:470:38:50

be starting imminently.

0:38:500:38:51

Surely the Minister would understand that whether it is prisoners

0:38:510:38:53

who have been tried and convicted for crimes of a sexual nature

0:38:530:38:57

or prisoners with mental health problems or other problems,

0:38:570:38:59

it is the quality of management prisons which must give us

0:38:590:39:02

all great concern.

0:39:020:39:13

When my select committee looked at education in prisons,

0:39:130:39:16

we kept coming back that the culture of the prison comes from the top

0:39:160:39:19

and is supported by well-trained and well-educated prison officers.

0:39:190:39:22

Mr Speaker, I agree entirely with the honourable gentleman

0:39:220:39:24

that the quality of the leadership in the prison makes a huge

0:39:240:39:27

difference to the regime, has staff are inspired, but also how

0:39:270:39:30

deep can rehabilitate offenders.

0:39:300:39:36

That is why those on this side of the house argue for prison

0:39:360:39:40

reform, where we empower these governors, give them control

0:39:400:39:42

of budgets and enable you to get local resources to meet

0:39:420:39:45

the needs of offenders.

0:39:450:39:46

Number 11.

0:39:460:39:59

Mr Speaker, with permission I would like to group questions

0:39:590:40:01

11 and 16.

0:40:010:40:02

Most offenders arrive in prison with very low levels of educational

0:40:020:40:05

attainment, very high levels of substance misuse and often very

0:40:050:40:08

poor histories of employment.

0:40:080:40:10

I believe modern prisons have a purpose, to keep the public

0:40:100:40:15

safe and tackle each of these issues, so prisoners

0:40:150:40:17

have the foundations to secure and hold down

0:40:170:40:20

a job on release.

0:40:200:40:21

I would like to thank my honourable friend, but I have recently visited

0:40:210:40:28

prisoners from my constituency who told me that offenders do not

0:40:280:40:37

have access straightaway on release to

0:40:370:40:42

national insurance numbers, bank accounts or unemployment benefits.

0:40:420:40:44

What steps are the Government taking to improve this?

0:40:440:40:50

I agree with the honourable member that if this through the gate

0:40:500:40:54

service, as we call them, are to work and stop reoffending,

0:40:540:40:57

things like national insurance numbers and bank accounts need

0:40:570:40:59

to be in place.

0:40:590:41:00

There are a series of programmes in place, including an offender

0:41:000:41:03

banking programme which opened about 5000 new bank accounts every

0:41:030:41:06

year.

0:41:060:41:10

The Minister is right, in fact that research shows that

0:41:100:41:27

employment after custody greatly affects the amount of reoffending.

0:41:270:41:29

What are they doing with the Department for Work

0:41:290:41:31

and Pensions to ensure offenders find work after they leave prison

0:41:310:41:34

and also stay in work?

0:41:340:41:36

To tackle the challenge of getting prisoners work when they leave,

0:41:360:41:39

the member has rightly identified it acquires a concerted effort

0:41:390:41:41

across Government and across the community.

0:41:410:41:43

Every prisoner has the opportunity to meet with a DWP work coach

0:41:430:41:46

before their release and the role of the work coach is to guide

0:41:460:41:50

them to employment.

0:41:500:41:51

Work coaches can ensure a prisoner knows their national insurance

0:41:510:41:53

number and the other services they need in order to make

0:41:530:41:56

the appropriate transition.

0:41:560:41:57

When many prisoners are already on short-term sentences for under

0:41:570:42:00

nine months and are often in prison for short periods, could he give

0:42:000:42:05

some advice as to how governors will be judged on placing those

0:42:050:42:08

prisoners into employment when the challenges are difficult?

0:42:080:42:14

I've met with a number of governors since I've been appointed to this

0:42:140:42:19

job, and most governors will tell you what they want is to be

0:42:190:42:23

empowered to match resources to the needs of prisoners

0:42:230:42:26

in their prison, working with local employers and the entire community.

0:42:260:42:28

That is what governors want.

0:42:280:42:37

The other point is that this is not just the responsibility

0:42:370:42:40

of governors, if we want prisoners to go out and be able to find work,

0:42:400:42:59

then businesses have a role, companies play a role

0:42:590:43:05

and we all have a role, because prisoners can leave them

0:43:050:43:08

and have jobs and restart their lives for the better

0:43:080:43:11

and we all benefit.

0:43:110:43:12

More than 60% of young people in the justice system

0:43:120:43:15

have a communications disability and more than one third of young

0:43:150:43:18

offenders have speaking and listening skills at the level

0:43:180:43:20

expected for an 11-year-old.

0:43:200:43:22

With the skills being fundamental with the ability to hold down a job,

0:43:220:43:25

will the Minister update the house of what assessment the Government

0:43:250:43:28

makes of speech and language support need and how well that

0:43:280:43:31

need is being met?

0:43:310:43:32

The member is obviously right, lots of prisoners arrived with huge

0:43:320:43:35

learning difficulties and a disadvantage and that is well

0:43:350:43:37

documented, what we need is individual programmes tailored

0:43:370:43:40

to the needs of the prisoner and the way to do that

0:43:400:43:43

as the honourable member said, is to empower governors to work

0:43:430:43:46

with probation companies, rehabilitation organisations,

0:43:460:43:47

to deliver these programmes.

0:43:470:43:51

He said to the minister, I raise a report on this matter

0:43:510:43:55

myself in two dozen and it's got a copy

0:43:550:43:57

of voice and sure you'll find on the internet.

0:43:570:44:00

Or in the house library.

0:44:000:44:01

I'm sure the honourable gentleman does.

0:44:010:44:03

We are immensely grateful.

0:44:030:44:05

Fewer than half of the people entering our prisons have basic

0:44:050:44:08

standards of English and maths, this is an enormous problem

0:44:080:44:17

because we know low levels of education can prevent people

0:44:170:44:20

from securing jobs on release and leading law-abiding lives.

0:44:200:44:22

The secretary of state is right in saying in order to get a job

0:44:220:44:26

the need to have both literacy and numeracy are essential.

0:44:260:44:31

Should we be putting more resources into educating prisoners on release

0:44:310:44:34

to be able to get jobs?

0:44:340:44:36

My honourable friend is right.

0:44:360:44:37

The fact is too many people enter our prisons without those

0:44:370:44:43

skills, but we need to use that time in prison to help those prisoners

0:44:430:44:46

gain those basic skills so they succeed outside.

0:44:460:44:51

What we started doing is measuring, testing prisoners as they enter

0:44:510:44:59

prisons, what I'm looking to see is, we measure the progress made

0:44:590:45:02

during their stay in prison so we can hold governors

0:45:020:45:05

accountable for that.

0:45:050:45:06

Could the Minister confirmed there will be no return

0:45:060:45:08

to the policy on banning books for prisoners?

0:45:080:45:10

I confirm that books are freely available in prison.

0:45:100:45:15

I warmly welcome the Right Honourable friend to her position.

0:45:150:45:30

I was delighted to see the new Secretary of State

0:45:300:45:34

talk about the importance of art in prisons and I hope

0:45:340:45:44

that my honourable friend will recognise how they can teach

0:45:440:45:59

prisoners a range of skills and hope she will meet the Arts

0:45:590:46:02

Alliance that the earnest opportunity to discuss what the arts

0:46:020:46:13

can do in particularly in relation to literacy.

0:46:130:46:17

Firstly can I say what a fantastic job my honourable friend has

0:46:170:46:21

done in championing the arts in every part of our country

0:46:210:46:24

and his legacy lives on.

0:46:240:46:25

It will live on in our prisons.

0:46:250:46:27

I'm sure he is overcome with emotion, what a happy day.

0:46:270:46:30

What discussions will she have with the Justice Department

0:46:300:46:36

into devolved legislators to insure that best practice is replicated

0:46:360:46:39

in improving literacy across prisons in all of the UK?

0:46:390:46:45

I'm looking forward to meeting my counterparts across the UK

0:46:450:46:48

and discussing these critical issues because it is a challenge

0:46:480:46:50

we all face.

0:46:500:46:51

Extreme brevity is now required.

0:46:510:46:52

The Government's reform programme is intended to deliver a simple

0:46:520:46:55

modern justice system that is available for everyone.

0:46:550:46:57

East Lancashire, including my constituency of Blackburn and up

0:46:570:47:02

to five other constituencies has only one Legal Aid,

0:47:020:47:12

so that makes listers frontier with housing,

0:47:120:47:14

what the Minister do about this desert of legal advice?

0:47:140:47:16

It is important they should be legal aid available

0:47:160:47:19

and it is in housing cases.

0:47:190:47:21

As it is, in the most important cases where people's life or liberty

0:47:210:47:24

or home is at stake, it is also available in domestic

0:47:240:47:27

violence cases and cases where children may be

0:47:270:47:29

taken into care.

0:47:290:47:30

I'm grateful to the honourable lady for highlighting this issue.

0:47:300:47:33

Let's be clear that legal aid in housing cases is something

0:47:330:47:36

that is available and there is a national helpline

0:47:360:47:38

as well as the services of lawyers across the country.

0:47:380:47:40

Topical questions, Mr Douglas Carswell.

0:47:500:47:51

I'm proud to take on the role of Lord Chancellor

0:47:510:47:57

and Justice Secretary, upholding the rule of law

0:47:570:48:04

and our justice system.

0:48:040:48:13

I'm determined to insure our prisons are of safety and reform,

0:48:130:48:16

where offenders can get off drugs, improve education and get the work

0:48:160:48:20

likely to reoffend.

0:48:200:48:20

skills they need to their less likely to reoffend.

0:48:220:48:25

I would like to pay tribute to our brave prison officers

0:48:250:48:28

and probation staff.

0:48:280:48:29

Over the next couple of months I will lay out my plans for prison

0:48:290:48:33

reform and setting out plans to modernise the courts to ensure

0:48:330:48:35

we continue to have a world leading justice system.

0:48:350:48:38

Sir James Mumby was asked to undertake a review of the family

0:48:380:48:41

Court in August 2014, can the Minister shed light

0:48:410:48:44

on ending the secrecy that can lead it to injustice.

0:48:440:48:48

I thank the honourable gentleman for his

0:48:480:48:53

question, I am due to meet James Mumby

0:48:530:48:55

next week to discuss this issue.

0:48:550:48:57

There's been some progress in bringing the family Court

0:48:570:49:00

but there is a balance to be struck behind highly sensitive issues

0:49:000:49:05

and opening it up fully, I will get more detail.

0:49:050:49:07

Will my honourable friend commit to using all the powers

0:49:070:49:10

at her disposal to protect British military personnel and veterans

0:49:100:49:13

who have served our country bravely and with great honour

0:49:130:49:16

from the spurious and outrageous legal claims like those

0:49:160:49:18

pursued by people such as public interest lawyers?

0:49:180:49:20

I am delighted to tell my honourable friend that this summer the legal

0:49:200:49:24

aid agency pulls the plug on its contract with public interest

0:49:240:49:27

lawyers, it will no longer be adamant chasing our

0:49:270:49:29

brave service personnel.

0:49:290:49:30

Legal aid should support vulnerable people in our society,

0:49:300:49:33

not used to pursue spurious cases against our Armed Forces who do

0:49:330:49:36

so much to serve our country.

0:49:360:49:37

Can I join colleagues in welcoming the new Justice Secretary

0:49:370:49:40

and her team to their new roles.

0:49:400:49:47

The Government has created the toxic conditions for the record levels

0:49:470:49:59

of violence, drug crimes and death across the prisons

0:49:590:50:11

by reducing the number of prison officers by one third yet the former

0:50:110:50:15

prison minister spent much of his time at the dispatch box this

0:50:150:50:19

year telling me privately about his department was not

0:50:190:50:21

successful recruitment drive.

0:50:210:50:22

He did Justice Secretary did not have the figures earlier answering

0:50:220:50:25

a question from my friend, so I will help out.

0:50:250:50:28

Can she explained why we have 421 fewer full-time equivalent front

0:50:280:50:31

line prison officers working in our public prisons

0:50:310:50:33

than we did one year ago?

0:50:330:50:34

I fully acknowledge that we do have issues with violence and safety

0:50:340:50:38

in our prison, the levels are unacceptable and I am determined

0:50:380:50:41

to deal with issues like this and I will lay out my plans shortly.

0:50:410:50:44

Since the Government has no provision privatisation,

0:50:440:50:46

concerns have repeatedly been raised about the quality of presentence

0:50:460:50:49

reports for the court as a result of arbitrary targets set.

0:50:490:50:53

The probation inspectors have described this month as a persistent

0:50:530:50:56

problem leading to inappropriate sentences being handed down.

0:50:560:50:58

Vital safeguarding checks such as domestic violence checks

0:50:580:51:00

with pulleys and child protection checked with children's services

0:51:000:51:03

are not taking place prior to sentencing.

0:51:030:51:05

Will the Justice Secretary commit to an urgent review

0:51:050:51:10

so the public, probation professionals and sentences can

0:51:100:51:17

have confidence when convicted criminals are sensed those deciding

0:51:170:51:23

of all the necessary evidence available?

0:51:230:51:25

Probation services do vital work at the minister responsible

0:51:250:51:27

for prisons and probation is looking very close at this issue.

0:51:270:51:30

I would point out that those on shorter sentences get much more

0:51:300:51:33

support thanks to our new probation contracts.

0:51:330:51:35

Questions must be brief.

0:51:350:51:36

There is a lot to get to and not much time.

0:51:360:51:42

I would never excuse criminal behaviour, but some former prisoners

0:51:420:51:45

have been denied opportunities in life many of us take for granted,

0:51:450:51:48

what is the department and other Government departments doing

0:51:480:51:51

to ensure the life chances agenda extends the prisons?

0:51:510:51:59

I thank my honourable friend for that question, prisons

0:51:590:52:01

are places where some of the problems in society

0:52:010:52:06

are magnified.

0:52:060:52:08

As the Prime Minister said, if we're going have a society

0:52:080:52:15

and country that works for everyone, prison reform is part

0:52:150:52:24

including literacy, training, work in prisons

0:52:240:52:25

and unemployment opportunities when people are released.

0:52:250:52:31

The Secretary of State will know that Charlie Taylor was asked

0:52:310:52:34

to carry out a review of the youth justice system last year and enter

0:52:340:52:37

it does make an interim report was published in February

0:52:370:52:40

and we were promised the final one in July, we don't have it,

0:52:400:52:50

can the Secretary of State tell us when and

0:52:500:52:54

where we will have an explanation?

0:52:540:52:56

I thank the honourable lady for this question,

0:52:560:52:58

it's an incredibly important issue, but the youth justice Minster

0:52:580:53:01

and I have ever met Charlie Taylor and we will be publishing our

0:53:010:53:04

response this autumn.

0:53:040:53:05

Does the Department intends to promote English law,

0:53:050:53:08

the rule of law and our legal sector around the world, particularly to

0:53:080:53:11

take advantages of the opportunities that may arise from Brexit?

0:53:110:53:14

English law had a huge impact spreading the rule of Law around

0:53:140:53:17

the world, it is the law of choice in over one quarter of jurisdictions

0:53:170:53:21

and Brexit gives us even more opportunities to promote this.

0:53:210:53:23

I will champion our ?25 billion legal services industry as a key

0:53:230:53:27

part of post-Brexit global Britain.

0:53:270:53:28

The selected media has expressed concern that judges are reporting

0:53:280:53:32

they hear no money claims at all, claims brought by workers

0:53:320:53:37

in low-paid sectors and which often succeeded, when will the Government

0:53:370:53:43

publish the review of the impact of implement tribunal fees

0:53:430:53:46

which is now six months overdue and had to restore justice

0:53:460:53:54

for low-paid workers?

0:53:540:53:56

Can I start by welcoming the report on court and tribunal fees,

0:53:560:54:00

we intend to respond and we will also publish the review

0:54:000:54:02

of changes to employment tribunal fees in due course.

0:54:020:54:05

This is an important area and we will do that.

0:54:050:54:08

I would like to ask the Secretary of State about the treatment

0:54:080:54:11

of women giving birth in prisons and those with young children.

0:54:110:54:14

And whether she will do more to ensure that children have

0:54:140:54:17

access to their mothers and where appropriate

0:54:170:54:23

their fathers, and can be as near to them as possible?

0:54:230:54:28

I thank the honourable lady for the question.

0:54:280:54:34

100 babies resided in mother and baby units in prison in 2015,

0:54:340:54:43

prisons do an excellent job making sure these environments are built

0:54:430:54:46

as is possible and babies can spend time away from the prisoners

0:54:460:54:49

nominated carers but knowing the importance of early years

0:54:490:54:52

is essential we consider alternative ways of dealing with female

0:54:520:54:54

offenders including those with young children and babies

0:54:540:54:56

and care responsibilities.

0:54:560:54:57

The Secretary of State alleged earlier to the closure and imminent

0:54:570:55:00

sale of Holloway prison and made me aware

0:55:000:55:02

of the wish to cite a women's sector on the site, discussions are taking

0:55:020:55:06

place with the Mayor of London but I wonder if the Secretary

0:55:060:55:09

of State could confirm that she and the Government

0:55:090:55:12

will play its part in ensuring an outcome that secures services

0:55:120:55:15

for women on that site.

0:55:150:55:16

I thank the honourable lady for a question and I will be

0:55:160:55:19

interested in looking more at the details on that proposal.

0:55:190:55:31

Following the closure of the courthouse in my

0:55:310:55:34

constituency, the previous minister decided that it should go

0:55:340:55:46

to Stockport and Chesterfield as was originally intended.

0:55:460:55:52

A sign has appeared on the district quarries that McCourt has seen

0:55:520:55:55

the work when the Chesterfield, will my honourable friend

0:55:550:55:57

investigators and injure the decision by the ministers

0:55:570:56:00

admitted, not the one by the officials in the original

0:56:000:56:02

flawed consultation?

0:56:020:56:03

I am grateful to my honourable friend for having raised this issue,

0:56:030:56:06

he will be pleased to note that I have had the notice taken down.

0:56:060:56:10

But the response to the consultation stated

0:56:100:56:12

that the work would go to Stockport and Chesterfield,

0:56:120:56:14

that is what is happening.

0:56:140:56:16

Further to a previous question, I have many constituents who cannot

0:56:160:56:19

get access to employment tribunals because the fees have proved

0:56:190:56:21

prohibitive that were introduced in the last parliament.

0:56:210:56:24

Can the minister promised the house today that he will make a statement

0:56:240:56:27

to the House on the impact of those fees?

0:56:270:56:30

As he will have heard, we recognise that we need

0:56:300:56:32

to produce our review, which we will publish,

0:56:320:56:38

and also to respond to the Justice committee's report.

0:56:380:56:40

And, of course, their documents, which will be available

0:56:400:56:43

in the vote office.

0:56:430:56:44

That will happen in due course, we are committed to that.

0:56:440:56:47

And effective court administration is very different from retaining

0:56:470:56:49

costly court buildings.

0:56:490:56:51

But whether the closures are going hand-in-hand

0:56:510:56:55

with investment and better use of technology and efficiencies,

0:56:550:57:09

that includes in surrounding courts, not least in Bury, Mr Speaker.

0:57:090:57:11

I was not psychic, but I realised what the honourable gentleman

0:57:110:57:16

earlier was driving at and I am glad he was persistent.

0:57:160:57:19

Persistence pays.

0:57:190:57:19

Minister?

0:57:190:57:20

My honourable friend is right, we need a programme

0:57:200:57:23

of transformation that maintains the very high quality

0:57:230:57:25

of our legal system.

0:57:250:57:26

I don't think many in this house would disagree that it is one

0:57:260:57:30

of the best in the world.

0:57:300:57:32

But we want it to be the most modern as well.

0:57:320:57:35

We are investing ?1 billion, we have saved a shard load of paper,

0:57:350:57:39

as I mentioned earlier, and we will do a lot more of this.

0:57:390:57:45

Our courts are benefiting from the digital revolution that

0:57:450:57:48

every other part of society is benefiting from already.

0:57:480:57:51

My constituent's 17-year-old son was murdered last year.

0:57:510:57:54

Will the Minister meet with me and the mother to discuss

0:57:540:58:05

the repeated failings in the justice system that mean that his killer

0:58:050:58:09

is still walking the streets?

0:58:090:58:10

I would be very happy to meet the honourable lady

0:58:100:58:13

and her constituents, I am sorry to hear about the case.

0:58:130:58:16

Colin Pitchfork was convicted of raping and murdering two young

0:58:160:58:19

girls in the 1980s.

0:58:190:58:21

Will the Minister please assure me and the public of their safety,

0:58:210:58:24

given that Mr Pitchfork is being moved to an open prison?

0:58:240:58:32

The honourable member will be aware that transferring prisoners

0:58:320:58:35

from from one prison to another is done on a careful

0:58:350:58:38

assessment of the risks.

0:58:380:58:45

I am sure that would have taken place, but I am happy to discuss

0:58:450:58:49

in detail if he wants to do so.

0:58:490:58:51

Does the Secretary of State accept that the Human Rights Act

0:58:510:58:55

is an indispensable part of the Good Friday Agreement,

0:58:550:59:00

and whatever the plans for elsewhere, the Government

0:59:000:59:02

is obligated to the retention of the Human Rights Act

0:59:020:59:05

in Northern Ireland as a co-guarantor of

0:59:050:59:09

the Good Agreement?

0:59:090:59:14

The UK has led the world in human rights, from Magna Carta

0:59:140:59:18

to habeas corpus.

0:59:180:59:20

We are committed to bringing forward a British Bill of Rights to further

0:59:200:59:24

build on these ancient protections.

0:59:240:59:27

The Prime Minister has already met Nicola Sturgeon to make sure

0:59:270:59:32

that the UK works together...

0:59:320:59:37

And intensity meets...

0:59:370:59:38

We intend to meet...

0:59:380:59:42

We intend to meet, as the Secretary of State said, all those

0:59:420:59:45

across the United Kingdom with concerns about it.

0:59:450:59:54

You're under arrest.

0:59:581:00:00

You're going to prison.

1:00:001:00:02

In what sense are you free?

1:00:021:00:04

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