Lord Tebbit fights for child Legal Aid

Lord Norman Tebbit is among a group of peers campaigning to save access to legal aid for children in medical negligence claims
Lord Norman Tebbit is among a group of peers campaigning to save access to legal aid for children in medical negligence claims
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LORD Norman Tebbit is among a group of peers campaigning to save access to Legal Aid for children in medical negligence claims.

The former Consevative MP for Chingford, who lives in Bury St Edmunds, wants the bill to be debated further before any decision is made.

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill is designed to save £350 million from the Ministry of Justice’s annual budget.

The bill will cut Legal Aid from all clinical negligence cases as well as areas including debt, housing, welfare, employment and family disputes.

But the bill has come under fire by many in the House of Lords – at an earlier debate, 52 of the 55 who spoke opposed various aspects of the legislation.

Lord Tebbit said although he thought Legal Aid system did need to be streamlined, the issue over legal aid for children needed further debate.

He said: “I have added my name to an amendment to see that the bill is thrashed out and discussed properly and to see what needs to be done.

“It is just the question of whether there should be Legal Aid and in what form for children in medical negligence cases. Broadly speaking I am with the Goverment on the bill but there are a lot of reforms that need to be done.”

More than 200 amendments have been put down for the bill’s committee stage to change the Government’s proposals including the one drafted by Lord Tebbit and former Conservative social security minister Lord Newton.

A line-by-line scrutiny of the bill started in the House of Lords on Tuesday.