The Cabinet revolt that ended the £5.9m contract bid by the now doomed Just Solutions International – the commercial arm of the Ministry of Justice – is to be welcomed.
Justice Secretary Michael Gove’s decision to press home ending this deal over the head of Philip Hammond, the foreign secretary, and initially, David Cameron, is the only morally acceptable case. Britain could not be seen helping a country that uses public beheadings, floggings and crucifixion as a routine part of its justice system.
When I first saw the disclosure of the deal in a routine half yearly report of the Ministry of Justice laid before Parliament I had no idea we had a commercial arm of the ministry, let alone that we had already done deals with Oman and Macedonia and were bidding for a Saudi contract.
Thanks to the work of. lawyer David Allen Green – known as Jack O’Kent on Twitter- who has assiduously followed this issue since -Downing Street has become embarrassed – and finally thrown in the towel. You can follow him on the JackofKentblog
I am also delighted that Lord Falconer, the shadow Lord Chnacellor, has reported this to the National Audit Office – because Just Solutions International set up by Gove’s predecessor, Chris Grayling, deserves a thorough financial examination.
I am also pleased that Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader used his conference speech to demand David Cameron dropped the deal. I realise that he reads Tribune where I also featured developments there.
So for once justice has been done and seen to be done in the full glare of the media – rather than injustice being sneaked out in obscure Parliamentary reports.