Former Prisons Minister welcomes Justice Secretary's decision

Crispin Blunt MP, former Minister for Prisons, Probation, Youth and Criminal justice (2010-12), has welcomed the decision by the Secretary of State for Justice, David Gauke MP, not to proceed with a Judicial Review of the Parole Board’s decision to release John Worboys.

Crispin Blunt commented:

“I am glad that the Secretary of State has recognised that a legal challenge by the Government would have no reasonable prospect of success. He has rightly resisted the temptation to do a populist thing which would have been wasteful of taxpayers’ money.

“Whilst there is genuine public concern about this case and the Parole Board recognise the importance of getting the licence conditions right, it is crucial that bodies such as the Parole Board are able to take these difficult decisions – following due process and weighing up all the information available to them – free of political interference.

“As there are no grounds on which a government action could be expected to be successful in this case, it is right that the Secretary of State has instead initiated a review of Parole Board decision-making transparency, victim involvement in Parole Board hearings, and arrangements for communicating with victims. If the Parole Board loses support for its decisions, it will not have the confidence to operate independently and to make sensible judgements, which would harm the delivery of justice, probation and rehabilitation. I’m pleased that the Secretary of State is taking action to bolster public confidence in Parole decisions without undermining the Parole Board’s independence.”