Saturday, 4 January 2014

Fighting for legal aid is Matt Foot’s family tradition

Simon Hattenstone is a consummate story-teller. Here he tells how the solicitor Matt Foot discovered eery and heartwarming similarities between his campaign against legal aid cuts and the work of his forebears. Read it from start to finish as it is a great story; personal and political.

Matt Foot also gave his own account of his family history, relating to legal aid, on the LRB Blog - so read that too if you’re hungry for more.

I met and interviewed Matt a few years ago for a Newsnight film and a Guardian article. I found him inspirational; determinedly investigating cases, digging for truth and exposing injustice.

Ultimately his fight to save legal aid is about defending access to justice. It’s to protect the principle that his great-grandfather Isaac Foot introduced in 1929: “that a poor prisoner should be in no worse position to defend their innocence than a rich prisoner”.