Future of Legal Aid

Part of Health and Social Care Committee – in Westminster Hall at 4:02 pm on 1st November 2018.

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Photo of Andrew Slaughter Andrew Slaughter Labour, Hammersmith 4:02 pm, 1st November 2018

I sense that the Minister is drawing her remarks to a close, but I wonder whether she will address a few more of my points. First, online and telephone services are valuable, but some people need face-to-face services. Will she look at that? Secondly, I know there is a separate review going on in relation to the representation of deceased people’s relatives at inquests. Does she know what stage that has reached? Will it report, or will it form part of the same review?

Finally, will the Minister look at the independence of the Legal Aid Agency? There are serious concerns that, in specific cases or more generally, there has been interference in the agency’s decisions because it is not sufficiently at arm’s length from the Government. We may need to deal with that as a discrete issue, but anything she can say to reassure us on that would be helpful.