Solicitor General Questions

Posted on June 14th, 2011 in Parliamentary News

Keith Vaz (Leicester, East) (Lab): May I join the Solicitor-General in paying tribute to the enormous work that the hon. Member for Totnes (Mr. Steen) has done? No one has done more than he has in raising this issue, and that is why the Home Affairs Committee asked him to be a special adviser for our recent report on human trafficking. In that report, we called for an increase in funding for the Metropolitan police’s human trafficking unit, because we cannot prosecute the perpetrators unless we catch them.

The Government, as we know, were ceasing funding for that unit. Yesterday, the Prime Minister, in answer to me, said that funding was going to be increased. Is this new money that is to be made available to the unit? If it is, that is a very good news story.

Mr. Speaker: Order. May I appeal to the House? I have a duty to get down the Order Paper, and I cannot do that if there are many speeches encompassed in questions.

The Solicitor-General: I have to be honest; I cannot tell my right hon. Friend whether it is new money or not, but I also heard what the Prime Minister said and it is obviously a welcome change of mind. I think we are starting to resource anti-trafficking better and better. We have recently given some more money to the POPPY project, which looks after victims of trafficking, and the UK Human Trafficking Centre is reasonably well resourced now and is becoming increasingly effective, so I think that we are funding more in the right direction now.