Labour to create army of community lawyers for social issues

The Labour Party is set to announce plans to set up an army of social welfare lawyers to help people with employment, housing, and immigration issues.

Richard Burgon, Leeds East MP and Labour's Shadow Justice Secretary. Photo: Submit

In his speech to Labour Party conference on Sunday, Leeds East MP and the party's Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon MP is expected to announce new plans to empower hard-hit communities to defend their legal rights, fight unjust decisions and prevent abuses of power.

Mr Burgon will commit to creating a “new generation of community lawyers” and “a golden era of Law Centres” to ensure communities that Labour say have been targeted by Conservative cuts can secure justice.

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Mr Burgon, who worked for a decade as a trade union lawyer in Leeds before being elected as an MP, wants to create a new generation of lawyers from their community fighting for their community.

He will announce Labour’s plans to provide free legal training for 200 community lawyers over the next parliament.

He will also announce a £20m fund to create a new network of People’s Law Centres, where families can get legal support on housing, debt, immigration, discrimination and other key legal support.

Mr Burgon said: "The Tories have deliberately undermined people’s ability to get the legal help they often desperately need. That has allowed lousy landlords, bullying bosses, and even the government itself, to trample on people’s rights for far too long.

"When people lack the money or the knowledge to enforce their rights, those rights are not worth the paper they are written on. We will put an end to that and ensure that justice serves the people, not just a privileged few.

"With a new generation of Community Lawyers and People's Law Centres we’ll help those targeted by the Conservatives' cuts to fight back, defend their hard-won rights and secure the justice they deserve."