COMMONS

Chair comments on Worboys' release

05 January 2018

Justice Committee Chair Bob Neill comments on the Parole Board Chair's statement on John Worboys' release.

Chair's comments

Committee Chair, Bob Neill MP, said:

"What has happened here is very disturbing.

The Parole Board is, rightly, independent of government, and, of course, can only deal with cases for which a prisoner has actually been convicted, rather than where there may be suspicion.

There are separate questions for the CPS to answer about their charging decisions in this case.

It is vital that the public has confidence in Parole Board decisions.

For that reason, I shall be recommending to the Committee that we ask the Chair of the Board, Professor Nick Hardwick, to give evidence to the Justice Committee about what has happened, in particular the failure to inform victims of Worboys' release, for which he has rightly apologised.

We must be reassured that victims are fully involved in the whole of the process.

We will also want to ask about how the Parole system can be made much more transparent, something Nick Hardwick himself has rightly called for.

In my view it is ridiculous that the current rules prevent the Board making public the reasons for their decisions.

Professor Hardwick has called for MPs to back "opening the process up" and we will give him the opportunity to make precisely that case."

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