asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will place the Article 2 compliant inquiry into the treatment of SP while in Prison Service custody on a statutory footing, with an independent, legally qualified chair; and [HL4539]
Why Stephen Shaw, the Prison and Probation Ombudsman, has declined to conduct the Article 2 compliant inquiry into the treatment of SP while in Prison Service custody; who will now conduct that inquiry; and what is the expected timetable; and [HL4540]
What facilities, arrangements and payment rates will be permitted so that SP can be fully represented in the Article 2 compliant inquiry into her treatment while in Prison Service custody; and [HL4541]
Whether the Article 2 compliant inquiry into the treatment of SP while in Prison Service custody will include in its terms of reference issues of child welfare as well as child protection; whether the chair of the inquiry will control the choice and interviewing of witnesses and any issues of disclosure; and whether the chair of the inquiry will be able to determine whether expert witnesses should be employed or instructed. [HL4542]
We regret the curtailment of this investigation and will be exploring the reasons and related matters with the Prison and Probation Ombudsman. Meanwhile, we are giving urgent consideration as to who will conduct a renewed investigation, its processes and expected timetable. In doing so, we will be taking into account the views of representatives of SP and the prospective investigator once identified. The investigation commissioned will meet the state's Article 2 investigative obligations, including in respect of independence, family participation and funding for legal representation.