Justice Select Committee Chair Says We Need Evidence Not Knee Jerk Reactions

12 August 2019, 18:43

Speaking to Eddie Mair the chair of the Justice Select Committee said there needed to be more money for the justice system, but the Tory MP would not be drawn out over whether a general election was looming.

After Boris Johnson ordered a review which could mean those convicted of the most serious offences end up spending longer behind bars, Eddie Mair spoke to the chair of the Justice Select Committee.

Bob Neill MP said there was an "element of truth" that the Prime Minister was making "unevidenced assertions" and also that he was "speaking for the majority of the public," with his comments.

Bob Neill chairs the Justice Select Committee and is the Conservative MP for Bromley and Chislehurst
Bob Neill chairs the Justice Select Committee and is the Conservative MP for Bromley and Chislehurst. Picture: LBC/PA

The Tory MP said he thought the public had a "concern" about the automatic release of prisoners half way through the sentence.

He told Eddie Mair there should be a distinction between people who are automatically released, and those who earn early release.

Praising the extra money for prisons, Mr Neill said the money should be put into a "whole systems approach."

Eddie asked if politicians often changed their opinion of the prison system once they got to experience it themselves they go from wanting to "lock more people up to looking for different solutions."

The Conservative politician said he thought that was a fair characterisation, he also said it was good that the Prime Minister was doing things by way of a review.

He said the inclusion of some senior judges with experience of the system was a good sign, "let's do this on the evidence rather than on the knee jerks," he said to Eddie.

"Do you think this would be happening if there wasn't an election in the air," Eddie asked, to which the Tory MP would only reply that it was "above my paygrade."

Watch the whole informed exchange in the video at the top of the page.