Clause 152 — Restriction on issue of arrest warrants in private prosecutions
Julian Huppert (Cambridge, Liberal Democrat)
I shall try to be brief because a number of hon. Members wish to speak. I have written an article today for “Liberal Democrat Voice” if anyone wants my comments in full—I am sure that hon. Members read it frequently. [ Interruption. ] There is only one version—unlike what happens with the Labour party, whose members seem to give different messages from the back, the front and the side.
I want to talk about how the system would work, and I urge hon. Members to look at the transcript of the DPP’s evidence to the Public Bill Committee, which was very detailed and very reassuring for those of us who want to make sure that prosecutions go ahead. He made it clear that a team was available, as has just been mentioned, and that it would be ready to act. He understood the issue of timeliness and advanced the idea of using a lower threshold test when there is not enough time to gather evidence. Importantly, he also offered to look in advance at evidence about people who we know should be prosecuted, so as to be ready to go at very short notice—to update what would be required and to be able to go ahead. I was very encouraged by that.