I am delighted to welcome the news that the government are to begin a public consultation on changes to sentences for causing death by dangerous driving.
As part of the consultation I understand that the government is to propose life sentences for offenders.
Many of you will be aware that this announcement follows years of campaigning by the families of victims, including Dawn and Ian Brown-Lartey whose son Joseph was killed in Rochdale in November 2014 by a driver doing 80mph in a 30mph zone. Under current sentencing guidelines, his killer is expected to serve just 3 years of a 6 year sentence.
Since first meeting them I have been inspired by the dignity and determination of Dawn and Ian to get justice for their son. Sadly, their experience is far too common and the law has not delivered the justice they deserve.
I have been proud to support the Justice for Joseph campaign and alongside many other dedicated campaigners we have kept the pressure on the government. Last week, I was among a number of MPs to sign a letter to the Justice Secretary Liz Truss MP calling for an urgent review of sentencing guidelines and I was extremely pleased to be able to appear alongside Dawn and Ian on BBC Breakfast yesterday morning to welcome the news of the new consultation.
Many people and organisations have worked tirelessly to change the law, including Michelle Livesey and Key 103 who have been staunch supporters of the Justice for Joseph campaign, and the national charity Brake whose Roads to Justice campaign has helped to give the issue prominence.
I would urge as many people as possible to take part in the consultation and make sure we get the right result.