Lord Chancellor Elizabeth Truss has today offered to meet the families affected by the Birmingham pub bombings.
The families have made an application for legal aid. Although she would be unable to discuss any elements of the application that is currently being considered by the Legal Aid Agency (LAA), the Lord Chancellor has offered to meet the family members so she can express her condolences and hear first-hand from those affected by this terrible event.
All applications for legal aid for inquests are considered by the independent LAA. Decisions on whether to grant funding sit solely with the agency.
Under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, it would be unlawful for the Lord Chancellor to have influence over an individual funding decision. This is to ensure that there is no political interference in what are very important decisions concerning access to justice.