Government U-turn on legal aid

The Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling MP, has dropped plans to cut the legal aid bill by awarding contracts to the lowest bidder. Ministers had intended to introduce price competitive tendering as part of a string of reforms aiming to cut the £2 billion annual legal aid bill in England and Wales by £350 million a year. However, concern had been raised that this proposal would have led to private companies such as G4S and Serco dominating the legal aid market at the expense of smaller firms that possess greater expertise. Chris Grayling confirmed to MPs the change of policy but said he still intended to withdraw legal aid from prisoners, who will now be forced to pursue claims through the prison complaints system.

The Independent