Commenting on the Report of the Family Mediation Task Force, Shadow Justice Minister Andy Slaughter MP said:
"First the Government pulled the plug on legal aid for private family law and told separating couples to go to mediation. But in the absence of anyone to make the reference to a mediator, the numbers of mediations has fallen by over a third in the last year. Now providers are going out of business. Meanwhile the Government wants to make a condition of going to court that mediation has first been tried. But if this does lead to more demand, there won’t be the mediators to meet it.
Even by the Ministry of Justice’s standards this is a comprehensive cock up and Simon Hughes’ attempt to raise the profile of mediation has come too late for both families in need of help and the providers that have been forced to close."