A St Helens MP recently embroiled in a court case over assault allegations has accepted a new role scrutinising the Ministry of Justice.
St Helens South and Whiston MP, Marie Rimmer has been appointed to the House of Commons Justice Select Committee, months after a court trial, where she was accused of “kicking” a Scottish referendum campaigner, collapsed.
It is an honour to have been appointed to the Justice Select CommitteeSt Helens South and Whiston MP Marie Rimmer
The incident was said to have taken place outside a Glasgow polling station on 18 September.
But the trial was halted because the word “Glasgow” had not been listed on the charge. Prosecutors had previously said they planned to re-list the case.
The St Helens Reporter has contacted Ms Rimmer for comment on the apparent conflict between the new role and her recent legal troubles.
However, in statement she called the appointment an “honour”.
Ms Rimmer said: “It is an honour to have been appointed to the Justice Select Committee and I look forward to playing a key role in scrutinising Government policy in this important area.
“We must ensure the principle of access to and affordability of justice is a right delivered. Legal aid and tribunal costs are having a dramatic negative impact on this and many feel that access to justice has a price tag.
“The current review of courts across the country, which threatens amongst others the future of St Helens Courthouse, further threatens this right and exemplifies the focus of the cost of justice.”
Ms Rimmer added: “The present crisis in our prisons needs to be addressed. Inadequate re-sourcing and lack of positive purpose is responsible for appalling and rising levels of violence against officers and prisoners. It is essential that we ensure purposeful activity, education and training for employment. Society has much to gain from real reform and rehabilitation of prisoners.”
Prior to becoming an MP, Ms Rimmer served as Chair of Red Bank Secure Home for Young People, for those convicted of serious crime and also chaired the Police Complaints Committee on Merseyside, overseeing and setting down professional standards of policing.