Domestic Violence Victims: Cross-Examination: 9th January 2017

Anna Soubry (Broxtowe) (Con)
I congratulate my hon. Friend the Minister and welcome everything he has said on the Government’s attitude to this long-standing problem. May I urge him please to look at the rules on legal aid? There is certainly strong anecdotal evidence from former colleagues of mine at the family bar and the judiciary that there is a direct consequence and link between the rise in litigants in person and the changes to legal aid, which was begun under the Labour Government. That link between litigants in person and legal aid is causing so much of the problem. If he at least looks at it, he could provide some of the solution.
Sir Oliver Heald
As my right hon. Friend rightly says, this is a long-standing issue but one that has now become urgent—the cries for help from judges and others have become more urgent—and that is why the Government are tackling it. It is necessary to find a way to prevent litigants in person from using proceedings to continue the abuse, and that is what we aim to do.