Legal Aid for Inquests — [Mrs Anne Main in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:42 pm on 10th April 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis Conservative, Banbury 2:42 pm, 10th April 2019

I partially agree with the hon. Lady, for whom I have great respect. I am trying to make a speech that is possibly slightly less political than the one that opened the debate, and to say that there are many reasons for inquests. As a Government lawyer I was useful in protecting the secrecy of what had happened. Often, in a war context, for example, important national security secrets had to be protected. It was not awfully much something that we were protecting from families—often families had been talked through the secret issue in the privacy of their home at an earlier date; it was just something that we did not want to have aired in open court. I am not anti-family at all, and I will come on to say why not, but I am trying to explain why, if the Government are lawyered up, it is, I hope, not often in an adversarial way. In my working life, I tried hard to make sure that it was not that way. I completely accept that it does not always look like that.