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Sadiq Khan MP

Shadow justice secretary

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Stories involving Sadiq Khan

Sex offender programme row

Labour has attacked the Government after the Justice Secretary disclosed that eight prisons in England and Wales now hold only sex offenders, after a rise in number of abusers increased by 652 to more than 11,000 in one year.

With the number of abusers rising by 652 to more than 11,000 in one year, Chris Grayling said the Government planned to cope with the increase by restricting specialist treatment courses to high risk offenders only, with lower risk offenders now set to receive what the Ministry of Justice described as “more appropriate interventions”.

Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan said: “This a monumental admission of failure by the Government. It's their duty to ensure that offenders are punished and rehabilitated in prison. But because of their failure hundreds of sex offenders are no longer going to get the treatment programmes they need to make sure they don't go on and reoffend once released. David Cameron's policies have caused a prisons crisis and the growing chaos is exposing the public to increased danger.”

Earlier today, a report released by the National Offender Management Service found that the number of treatment programmes on offer to convicted sex offenders decreased by 6.6% in a year.

Mr Grayling said the move was part of plan to get away from a “one size fits all approach” to dealing with sex offenders.

He said: “As a Government we make no apologies for putting sex offenders where they deserve – in jail.

“But when they are there it is important that we deal with their offending behaviour – that means programmes consistent with the best evidence, targeted at those who pose the greatest threat.”


Khan slams PM's new sentences

Sadiq Khan has said the Prime Minister's plans for new 'punitive' community sentences are based on "false targets" and could endanger public safety.

The Shadow Justice Secretary said the plans would need funding that the Government does not appear to have.

He said: "The Government need to answer important questions about how they propose to fund increased use of community sentences given the Ministry of Justice budget faces budget cuts of a quarter.


“False targets for reducing prison numbers, over stretched probation services and budget cuts of a quarter are a potent cocktail risking a gamble with public safety."

David Cameron's plan, to be introduced in the Queen's speech, would make community sentences include unpaid work, fines, electronic tagging, drinking bans and curfews.

Asset seizure will also be extended even to smaller items such as flat-screen TVs and other goods, rather than big ticket items like expensive cars at present.

Mr Cameron said: "For too long, community sentences have been seen as, and indeed have been, a soft option. This Government wants to change this and make them a proper and robust punishment. Criminals given a community punishment should not just be able to enjoy life as it was before, during their sentence. They should pay for their crimes and I'm determined to see this happen."


Khan: Victims are being overlooked

Sadiq Khan has said the justice system needs to see a "significant shift" in it's attitudes and treatment of victims. In a pamphlet released today with the Fabian Society, the Shadow Justice Secretary writes:

"Victims are too frequently kept in the dark about the details of a trial, access to court papers are often difficult to obtain and complex legal processes difficult to understand, all of which can and should be remedied quickly and at little cost."


Labour re-thinks stop and search powers

Police stop and search powers need to be "urgently" revisited to address mistrust in the police, Labour has said, as Theresa May reportedly considers reforms to the practice.

Writing for PoliticsHome, Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan said disproportionate searching of ethnic minorities fed anger around episodes like the Mark Duggan verdict.

The Guardian reports that the Home Secretary is preparing to tell police they should carry out fewer searches, and crack down on officers unlawfully abusing their powers.


Lords win amendment on legal aid

Peers in the House of Lords have defeated the Government and won a series of key amendments to the Legal Aid Bill, including making the provision of legal aid a 'binding duty'.

The three defeats come after Ken Clarke earlier defended the Government's reforms to Legal Aid, saying they were a matter of "common sense" and will not restrict access to justice.

Speaking to the Today programme this morning, the Justice Secretary said: "It doesn't close anybody's access to justice, at all. For those who don't get Legal Aid, the courts are already too expensive, so they're normally only accessible to the very rich or the very poor, but access to justice will still be there."

The plans were criticised by the Des Hudson, the head of the Law Society, who said "the poorest and weakest" would not be able to seek legal redress.

Writing exclusively for PoliticsHome, Shadow Justice Minister Lord Bach says there is a "strong sentiment" across all three parties in the House of Lords that the bill is "unconstitutional, heartless and economically unsound".

 

Labour's Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan MP criticised the "cuts" and said legal aid is an "investment" against "greater costs" down the line.

“This Tory-led Government has consistently ignored independent research showing that early stage legal aid intervention is actually an investment against greater costs down the line.

"Opposing these social welfare cuts is clearly the right thing to do if we are to fight the short-sighted and damaging nature of this Government’s attack on the most vulnerable in society."


MPs pass extradition reform motion

MPs have this evening passed a motion calling for the reform of the UK's extradition arrangements. The move was unanimous and required no vote.

Earlier today, Former Home Secretary David Blunkett saud that he had suggested alleged computer hacker Gary McKinnon could stand trial via video link.

Mr Blunkett said the suggestion, which he put to the Department of Justice in Washington, would mean it ewas possible "for the trial to take place on US soil, but for Gary to remain here and serve his sentence here".

Mr McKinnon, who suffers from Asperger's syndrome, has spent the last decade in court facing extradition charges.

The need for a renegotiation of the UK-US extradition agreement will be contested in a backbench debate today, in the wake of contentious cases like that of Scottish hacker Gary McKinnon.

The debate was secured by Conservative MP Dominic Raab, but has significant cross-party support. Sadiq Khan has called on the Government to act to secure more prisoner transfer agreements, estimating that the overstretched UK prison system could see a net loss of about 2,500. Writing for PoliticsHome, the Shadow Justice Secretary said increasing the number of deals would result in “a huge saving to British taxpayers”.