JUSTICE – SOCIAL ACTION, RESPONSIBILITY AND HEROISM BILL – 21 July 2014
Dr Julian Lewis: I realise that the point I am about to make slightly stretches the parameters of the Bill, but given that the Secretary of State has been praising people who heroically intervene is he not as surprised as I am that the people who heroically intervened to help Lee Rigby and confronted the people who had killed them have not seen their bravery recognised? Most of us expected them to get the George Medal once the trial was over, so is it not a shame that bravery has not been recognised?
[The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice (Chris Grayling): I think that every one of us in this House would pay tribute to those people. I am sure that my hon. Friend’s comments have been noted and he is right to highlight the degree of bravery shown on that tragic afternoon. ... ]
[For later developments, click here.]
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Dr Lewis: I think I know how the right hon. Gentleman [Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, Sadiq Khan] will respond to this point, but, for clarity, I am going to put it anyway. There have undoubtedly been cases, have there not, where policemen have said, for example, that they were not prepared to pull an apparently drowned victim out of a pool for fear of not being suitably qualified to do so? Is he saying that some measure other than this Bill will try to prevent that in future? Such cases clearly do exist, as they are widely reported to a horrified public.
[Sadiq Khan: I have great respect for the hon. Gentleman, but he was not in the Chamber when I referred to the Master of the Rolls. We need to make sure that employees who do not know the position are educated and told the position, and that those who are not properly trained are properly trained. Debating a three-clause Bill today, and even passing it in the next few months, will not make a jot of difference. We need to make sure that the public and those who work in the emergency services are better educated and know what obligations and duties are placed on them, without the risk and fear of litigation. ... ]