Finally, news has come that a new Minister for Prison and Probation has been appointed. Napo would like to extend a warm welcome to Robert Buckland QC MP who is the MP for South Swindon. Prior to becoming a politician Robert practiced law in Wales. He specialised in Criminal law which will be welcome news to our members and therefore he has a good understanding of the role of probation and was a recorder in Crown Court before being made a QC in 2014.
Whilst his appointment may understandably cause a slight delay to the government’s response to their own ‘Strenghtening Probation, Building Confidence’ consultation which is expected to be published next week, Napo is hopeful that we can build a good relationship with the Minister and that he will continue to positively engage with us as Rory Stewart did. Napo has been assured that this appointment will not alter the current situation which is that a number of options are being considered for the future of probation, but on which a formal government decision is awaited. Once the consultation response has been published and the direction of travel for Probation is known, Napo will of course publish full and detailed news to all members and will be ready to issue the necessary statements to the media.
Ian Lawrence, General Secretary