No public funds to oppose July 7 inquest application

Relatives of people killed in the July 7 attacks will not receive public funding to oppose a Government application to have some of the evidence heard in secret.







Representatives of Home Secretary Theresa May will appear at the High Court next Thursday as they seek a judicial review of a decision by coroner Lady Justice Hallett not to allow closed evidence.



One group of families whose loved ones were killed in the 2005 London public transport atrocities said the Legal Services Commission has told them they do not qualify for legal aid.



Relatives faced a similar battle for funding at the inquests themselves after the previous Government invited applications and turned them down, before a decision was finally made in their favour.



Solicitor Clifford Tibber, who represents the families of six victims, said Mrs May has refused to rule out claiming costs against relatives if her application is successful.



He said: "Here we go again. The Government and the coroner both have public funding to argue about how evidence can be received but the people to whom it matters most, the bereaved families, are left without funding.



"It is a ridiculous system. The families are funded to be represented at the inquests but as soon as there is a challenge to the coroner's ruling they are left high and dry.



"I thought this was about open justice but now it seems to be more about getting any sort of justice."



Graham Foulkes, whose 22-year-old son David was killed at Edgware Road, said: "We are already suffering considerable distress and pain going through the inquests.



"That distress has been added to by the Home Secretary's appeal which we find very hurtful.



"It is unbelievably painful to be told that the Government are refusing to help us fight for open justice by refusing to fund our legal team and then exposing us to the spectre of bankruptcy if we have to fund it ourselves."



The legal move comes after Lady Justice Hallett rejected arguments by lawyers for MI5 that she had powers to exclude the bereaved families from hearings so she could examine sensitive documents.



The Home Office has said it welcomes the inquests but will not put lives at risk or undermine national security by failing to protect sensitive material.



The inquest at the Royal Courts of Justice in London is at the end of its fifth week and is expected to last up to five months.











A Legal Services Commission spokesman said: "By law, the Legal Services Commission cannot waive the financial eligibility and legal merits tests which we must apply to all civil legal aid applications.



"Exceptional Funding, which is a separate funding regime, cannot be granted to cover this type of judicial review."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Client Accountant Team Manager - Reading

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will also work alongside their seasoned sa...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Property Manager

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking for your first step into...

Recruitment Genius: Mechanical Design Engineer

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This innovative company working...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat