Labour’s Sadiq Khan has admitted that he cannot find the cash to reverse the cuts to legal aid inflicted by Conservative Justice Secretary (and legal ignoramus) Chris ‘Failing’ Grayling.
Grayling has forced the legal aid budget down by £600 million, in the face of huge opposition from lawyers, making it much harder for people who don’t have huge amounts of money to defend themselves if accused of a crime. People who do have such funds – the abominably rich and career criminals – will, of course, be able to pay for their defence and escape justice.
In short, Grayling has ensured that criminals will go free while the innocent are jailed.
He has also ensured that a future Labour government will not be able to undo the damage – at least, not immediately. Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan has said Labour could not reinstate the money cut from legal aid by Grayling, but he did say Labour intends to make it easier for victims of domestic violence to obtain support from a lawyer.
“I speak to lawyers who say they have clients who come in to see them, say they have suffered abuse and are told they have to provide evidence,” he told The Guardian.
“The clients often leave the office and never return. That worries me. So I’m looking at what we can do to tackle this. If there was one legal aid change to reverse, this would be the one.”
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