The government has begun tendering contracts for £1.3bn worth of private probation services during purdah. The new contracts come despite General Election Guidance stating such decisions should be postponed until after the election.
Richard Burgon, Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary, has written to the Justice Secretary, Robert Buckland, demanding answers on why the decision to tender the contracts was taken in light of official Guidance. Responding to the government’s decision to press ahead with private probation contracts during purdah, Richard Burgon said “It’s outrageous that the Tories are pushing ahead with these huge contracts for the private sector, avoiding scrutiny while parliament is shut for the general election.
“Just as with the NHS, our probation system should be in public hands where it can help keep communities safe, not acting as a cash cow for failing private companies.
“You can’t trust the Conservatives with our justice system. Labour will ensure probation is back in the public sector where it can focus on public safety, not private profit.”