Coroners Debate

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Department: Ministry of Justice


Kevin Brennan Excerpts
Friday 24th May 2024

(1 month, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Kevin Brennan Portrait Kevin Brennan (Cardiff West) (Lab)
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May I, too, put on record my thanks to you, Mr Speaker, and to the Deputy Speakers for looking after our interests during this Parliament? I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Blackpool South (Chris Webb) on his brilliant maiden speech. We learned that his wife is called Portia. That is quite appropriate as we are discussing a justice Bill, given that Portia gave one of the most famous speeches on justice in “The Merchant of Venice”:

“The quality of mercy is not strained;

It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven

Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed;

It blesseth him that gives and him that takes”.

I am glad he aptly reminded us of his wife’s name during the course of his speech. I congratulate him, and I am sure we will be seeing each other again soon—without being complacent in any way about the electorate.

We will not divide the House on this measure. Given the state of the backlog impacting the coronial system, this is a sensible measure and the Opposition will not contest it today. However, it is worth discussing very briefly the reasons for the backlog and the Government’s complete inability to get a grip on any aspect of our justice system.

After 14 years of Conservative rule, we have significant and, in some cases, record high backlogs across the whole of the courts and tribunals system. Victims and their families are waiting years for answers and for justice. It has become the “Department of Justice Delayed”, and we all know what that means. Labour will work at pace to tackle the backlogs that are grinding our justice system to a halt, and to restore public confidence in the justice system, but we do not seek to divide the House on this measure.