At the end of the debate Mr Andy Burnham MP said - "It is disappointing that the Government were not even able to accept the principle that we should have equal funding. It would have been a step forward if they had been able to do so. I understand that they are asking Bishop James Jones to look at these matters, but of course, this issue goes much broader than Hillsborough. It is about fairness in our criminal justice system, and I believe that the Government are missing an opportunity by not acting on it quickly. Quite frankly, it is obscene for police forces to continue to spend large amounts of money on hiring aggressive lawyers to challenge families in the way that they do at inquests. This scandal should not be allowed to continue, and we in the Opposition will continue to fight against it until there is real change."
Lack of legal representation at most inquests is a very serious issue for families particularly when a public authority is amply represented.
The Policing and Crime Bill has now gone to the House of Lords where I hope that this matter will be revisited but with a view to providing funding for legal representation at inquests where ANY public authority is represented by lawyers.