Commenting on the news that Ken Clarke will continue to be responsible for the Justice and Security Bill, despite no longer being in the Ministry of Justice, Reprieve's Executive Director, Clare Algar said:
“This is a very strange development, for which there seem to be only three possible explanations.
“First, that the Prime Minister has appointed a new Justice Secretary who he does not think is capable of handling his own department's legislation - this can surely be dismissed. Second, that this was never really a Ministry of Justice Bill, but originated instead in those parts of Government which wanted to keep their dirty laundry secret. Or third, that the Government feels that Ken Clarke's reassuringly liberal reputation is the only chance this dangerous Bill has of getting through Parliament.
“David Cameron needs to come clean on why it is that he feels the Secretary of State for Justice should not be responsible for a major piece of justice legislation.”
Notes to editors
1. For further information, please contact Donald Campbell in Reprieve’s press office: +44 (0) 207 427 1082
2. In a statement following the reshuffle, Ken Clarke stated that in his new position, “I will also take the Justice and Security Bill through Parliament.”
3. All Government Bills currently before the Commons have the relevant Secretary of State as their sponsor: http://services.parliament.uk/bills