I suggested that in the case that I am discussing a referral to the ombudsman might be required. I had a reply on
“I accept that updates may not have been pursued as frequently as they might and my head of operations has instructions to ensure regular engagement with”— he names the deputy in the letter, but I will not give it now—
“and her solicitor with regards to any progress in the sale of the property.”
At the end of that letter, he said this about the deputy:
“I am content with the way she is discharging her duties”.
My constituent wrote to me on
I wrote again to Martin John, the Public Guardian, on
I am determined to get this case resolved before I retire, but preferably much sooner. I understand that this is a complex and sensitive area of law, but I have no doubt at all in my mind that if the Office of the Public Guardian had lived up to half of the fine words on its website and a quarter of the promises made to me, this matter would have been resolved some time ago. In the meantime, my constituent has lost thousands; lawyers have pocketed thousands; the Office of the Public Guardian has cost millions; and the fortunes of the person whose interest the office is supposed to defend have undoubtedly been diminished. I do not know why the deputy in this case has not acted more decisively; I do not know why a solicitor who does not even reply to correspondence has been engaged; but I do know that the fact that this matter is unresolved is a disgrace.
I know that this matter is not in the Minister’s brief, but will he commit to ask his colleague, the Under-Secretary of State for Justice, Mr Djanogly, to undertake a full ministerial review of this case, with a view to galvanising the Office of the Public Guardian out of its “Bleak House” mentality and into a proactive mindset that genuinely serves the public interest?