Call to Clegg to intervene to stop legal aid cuts

Cuts to legal aid services to some of the most vulnerable in society should be halted by Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, Unite, the largest union in the country, urged today (Thursday 31 October).

Unite has joined with more than 100 other organisations in signing a letter asking the deputy prime minister to honour his party’s recent conference decision which called for the proposals of justice secretary Chris Grayling to slash legal aid to be halted.

The Justice Alliance will deliver the letter at 10.00 tomorrow (Friday) at Liberal Democrat headquarters at 8-10 Great George Street, London, SW1P 3AE.

Unite national officer for the not for profit sector, Sally Kosky, said: “Unite has members across the legal and advice sector, and our members are increasingly concerned that the provision of services is threatened as never before.

“The government has made major attacks on the services provided to our communities and Unite will continue to fight to ensure that legal aid remains a key part of the welfare state."

Sally Kosky, who will be at Great George Street tomorrow, added: “Nick Clegg has a chance to live up to his liberal credentials and use his influence to put a brake on these cuts which will hit those least able to legally defend themselves.”

The letter to Nick Clegg said: “Prisoners will be denied the means by which to ensure fair treatment; poor and unfair decisions of the state will go unchallenged as never before; asylum seekers, such as those in Yarls Wood Detention Centre, will have no remedy for abuse; and quality criminal representation will be diminished further given the heavily reduced funding the consultation proposes.”