The Legal Aid Campaign Moves Forward
Thanks to everyone who supported our 'Lords Help Us' campaign to protect legal aid by taking a seat on our virtual House of Lords. Thanks to your brilliant campaigning, the Lords recently voted to keep Legal Aid in welfare benefit cases. But MPs will have the final say. We need to keep the pressure up and let MPs know what a vital lifeline legal aid can be for disabled people.
Many disabled people and others on low incomes who can’t afford lawyers are supported by legal aid advisers. Last year, thousands of disabled people were helped by legal aid advisers to overturn inaccurate benefits decisions that had left them struggling without the means to live. However, the Government is trying remove legal aid for welfare benefits cases. This could mean people with the highest level of need will be left to navigate their way through a complex system to get the support they rely on to lead their daily lives.
The Government’s Legal Aid plans were defeated in the House of Lords by 237 votes to 198. This has bought us a step closer to victory by showing the real Lords how much this issue matters.
But we haven’t won yet! MPs still have the final say on the Bill when it returns to the Commons. In order to cement these changes we need the support of your MP.
Please write to your MP and ask them to contact the Justice Minister Ken Clark and their own party leader to ensure welfare benefit appeals remain covered by Legal Aid. http://scope.to/savelegalaid
Please act now to ensure the vital changes you’ve worked so hard to secure are voted through when the Legal Aid Bill returns to the Commons, and encourage your friends to do the same!