HC Deb 19 December 2002 vol 396 c942W
Mr. Crausby

To ask the Solicitor-General what role the Attorney-General plays in relation to the firefighters' dispute. [83558]

The Solicitor-General

The Attorney-General has the power to apply to the Court for an injunction to prevent threatened breaches of the criminal law. This power is to be exercised in the public interest, which is exercised in independent judgment in the role as Attorney-General rather than as a member of Government. Such an application is always exceptional and is only instituted where there is the prospect of genuine, serious and irreparable harm and is judged that it is in the public interest to make the application.

It is the Attorney-General's duty to keep under constant review the question whether to exercise this power. In order to determine where the public interest lies he may consult as he has been doing with ministerial colleagues to ensure that he is properly informed as to the public interest consultations arising. The Attorney has been informed also of the views of fire authority representatives in relation to the potential threat to public safety. But the power to apply for an injunction is one for the Attorney-General to exercise in the public interest and the decision is for him alone.

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