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MP welcomes plans to retain Chief Coroner post

5th December 2011
MP welcomes plans to retain Chief Coroner post

Gordon Henderson MP has welcomed Government plans to retain the post of Chief Coroner.

Mr Henderson was one of only three Conservative MPs to defy the party whip and vote for an amendment to the Public Bodies Bill removing the Chief Coroner from the list of public bodies and quangoes the Government plans to scrap.

Despite easily defeating the Commons amendment, the Government had a change of heart and moved its own amendment when the Public Bodies Bill progressed to the Lords.

The new amendment, announced by the Justice Minister, Jonathan Djonogly MP, was introduced following pressure from Mr Henderson and his parliamentary colleagues and the Royal British Legion, who felt a single figure needed to be responsible for the coroner system.

The Chief Coroner will have a range of powers including reforming the movement of cases between coroner jurisdictions as well as being responsible for the direction of coroners, coroner training, monitoring service personnel inquests and an annual report laid before Parliament.

Justice Minister, Jonathan Djanogly MP said,

“This amendment is needed to provide leadership to coroners and the urgently needed coronial reforms, while remaining affordable to the taxpayer.”

Mr Henderson said,

“I am delighted the Government has listened to the concerns raised by the Royal British Legion, MPs and their constituents and have proposed an amendment to reflect this. It shows that I was right to rebel on this issue when it was originally debated.”

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