Sadiq Khan MP, Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary, responding to the news the Chief Inspector of Probation has resigned, said:
“Chris Grayling is stumbling from one crisis to another. Not content with sacking the Chief Inspector of Prisons, the Chief Inspector of Probation has now resigned over conflicts of interest the Justice Secretary was fully aware of at the time he appointed him. A Chief Inspector needs to be able to do the job without fear or favour, without any hint of bias, perceived or otherwise.
“Time and again, Labour has warned the government that Mr McDowell’s position as Chief Inspector of Probation appeared compromised through links to private companies picking up one-third of the privatised probation service.
“It is shocking that Mr McDowell’s departure has been delayed until the day after private companies take over the running of probation. When probation is undergoing the biggest upheaval in its history and dedicated staff are demoralised because of the Government’s reckless privatisation, this is the time when a strong, independent Chief Inspector is needed the most as the guardian of the public’s safety. The Justice Secretary needs to urgently explain his role in this fiasco and how these multibillion contracts will be inspected and supervised without a Chief Inspector.”