Sir Julian Lewis: I congratulate my right hon. and learned Friend on his well-deserved promotion. I have recently been contacted by a constituent who discovered the murdered bodies of her sister and baby niece. She is a volunteer with a national charity called Support after Murder and Manslaughter. It has given me a list of concerns, which I would like to give to the Minister separately. However, the charity states that the Secretary of State will be able to make this parole decision, which will then be subject to appeal, but the victims will not have a voice at either stage – they will not be able to do impact presentations. Will the Minister look at this point again, because the victims feel that they are being excluded?
[The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice (Alex Chalk): I thank my right hon. Friend for raising that important matter on behalf of his constituents. The interests and rights of victims are absolutely at the heart of this proposal, because – this shone out from a conversation I had only today – some victims who are concerned about whether a prisoner gets released are of course concerned about what has happened to their family, but they are also worried about what might happen to others. That is why having public confidence in the safety consideration is so important. I will be happy to discuss my right hon. Friend’s points with him, but I emphasise that the rights of victims and the protection of the public are at the heart of this important measure.]