HC Deb 19 February 1996 vol 272 c15
29. Sir Wyn Roberts

To ask the Attorney-General what action he is taking to improve liaison between the police and the Crown Prosecution Service. [14186]

The Attorney-General (Sir Nicholas Lyell)

The Crown Prosecution Service and the police are working closely together on a number of initiatives, including co-ordinated training, greater use of information technology and a scheme involving CPS lawyers giving on-the-spot legal advice in busy police stations.

Sir Wyn Roberts

In thanking my right hon. and learned Friend for that reply and expressing my satisfaction at the co-operation between the two services—contrary to the impression given by some of the media from time to time—may I ask my right hon. and learned Friend to reject the shoddy, unwarranted slur on his integrity, as did the six Queen's counsel who signed a letter to that effect published in The Times on Saturday? Will he reaffirm what we already know—namely, his total commitment to fairness in all matters relating to his office?

The Attorney-General

I am most grateful for what my right hon. Friend has said. I can reaffirm not only that I was careful and fair on that occasion, but that the 139 lawyers of the Crown Prosecution Service are working day in and day out in Wales to assist the 6,200 police officers in the common task of bringing alleged wrongdoers before the courts, firmly but fairly.

Mr. Skinner

Why does the Attorney-General not do the decent thing, as Ministers used to do at one time, and resign?

The Attorney-General

The decent thing, although the hon. Gentleman might not recognise it, is to give clear and careful legal advice when it is asked for. And that is what I did.