Len McCluskey, General Secretary of Unite signed the legal aid petition and said “The legal aid and advice sector is a core pillar of our democratic society and Unite the Union will continue to be actively involved in campaigning to ensure that legal aid remains a key part of the welfare state.” Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy and have called for legal aid cuts to be reversed.
Michelle Stanistreet is the elected general secretary of the National Union of Journalists (UK and Ireland). She joins over 16,000 people in signing the #fight4legalaid petition. In September 2013 she signed a letter to The Guardian opposing cuts to legal aid.
“Following the exposure of serious allegations of sexual abuse of detainees at Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre, we urge the Liberal Democrats, in their emergency debate today (18 September), to oppose the justice secretary’s plans to restrict access to the courts by slashing legal aid and preventing organisations from bringing cases on behalf of others. These proposals will deny access to legal aid for foreign nationals in immigration detention and prison who experience such abuse, and will enable it to continue unchecked. Detained foreign nationals are the most vulnerable to abuse, but the least able to hold the state to account.”
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