Reform UK pledges justice spending hike and family law change

Reform UK has pledged to spend an extra £2bn on the justice system and shake up elements of family law.
Reform UK pledges justice spending hike and family law change

In its draft manifesto published today ahead of the 4 July general election, the party said the justice system is failing the public and is ‘slow, bureaucratic and inefficient’.

The party said it would increase the justice budget from £10bn to £12bn in its first 100 days to ensure ‘more high calibre staff’ to cut delays.

Most of that extra money would be spent on 10,000 new prison places, secured either through expanding existing prisons or commissioning disused military bases.

Nigel Farage’s party would impose an automatic life sentence for anyone committing a second violent or serious offence and tackle what it called ‘foreign gang crime’ through an increased budget for the National Crime Agency and the National Drugs Intelligence Unit.

The manifesto says: ‘Some violent repeat offenders commit over 100 offences, yet are still free to walk the streets. Over 75,000 defendants are awaiting trial at the Crown Court. The police are demoralised and the public are losing trust in the system. We will build a common sense justice system that keeps the public safe.’

Reform is also pledging to reform the child maintenance service which is currently ‘failing children and parents’.

The manifesto sets out how this should be a mediation-led service with means-tested support for parents who cannot arrange finances. Reform would also launch a special division of the family court for maintenance and defaults issues, and impose shared parental care 50/50 where appropriate and more rights of access for grandparents.

The manifesto includes two further mentions of lawyers, in relation to a pledge to ‘replace the 2010 Equalities Act’ [sic] and introduce a new Armed Forces Justice Bill.

Reform said the current legislation on equality has become a ‘lawyer’s charter to print money’ and has ‘destroyed meritocracy, spread division and led to exclusion for some in majority groups’.

The armed forces bill would ‘protect our servicemen and women on active duty inside and outside the UK from civil law and human rights lawyers’.

Reform also wants to leave the European Convention on Human Rights, with the manifesto adding: ‘British laws and judges must never be overruled by a foreign court. We must be free to deport those we consider a threat to our country. UK courts must be able to protect British citizens from EU arrest warrants.’

The party said its manifesto should be regarded as a contract with the British people and that spending commitments would be funded by £15bn savings on benefits spending and £50bn saved from slashing the civil service and quangos. The final manifesto will be published this afternoon.

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