Commons talks on bail changes

Gordon Marsden raises Justice for Jane campaign in Parliament
Gordon Marsden raises Justice for Jane campaign in Parliament
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A CAMPAIGN to make changes to bail law following the death of Blackpool nurse Jane Clough has been thrust into the spotlight in Parliament.

Gordon Marsden MP for Blackpool South asked the Secretary of State of Justice his thoughts on allowing the right to appeal a judge’s decision on bail following the death of the 26-year-old mum.

The question prompted a debate in the House of Commons yesterday, during which shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan said judges ‘were not infallible and they do make mistakes’.

Miss Clough’s family are calling for changes to bail rulings to allow victims and the Crown Prosecution Service the right to appeal judges’ bail decisions as part of their Gazette-backed Justice for Jane campaign.

The Blackpool Victoria Hospital nurse was stabbed to death by her ex-partner Jonathan Vass while he was out on bail awaiting a rape trial.

Mr Marsden said: “Will the Lord Chancellor not at least consider this change in the bail law?”

Responding to the question, Nick Herbert, the minister of state for policing and criminal justice, said: “I have met with Mr and Mrs Clough. This was an appalling case in which a young mother was tragically killed. They make a very strong case. The Government is considering the proposal.”

Mr Khan replied: “I’m sure he will agree judges, like the rest of us, are not infallible. If he accepts that it can lead to catastrophic results, why not allow the CPS the right to appeal in limited circumstances?”

A second reading of a bail amendment bill, regarding changes to bail ruling, will be heard in January.

Mr Marsden told The Gazette: “I think we have very much put the issues right in the spotlight. I mentioned the petition and the bill which is going through.”

To support the Justice for Jane campaign, which is being supported by The Gazette, click on the link to the right of this article.