Closing courts and cells a shambles

John Mann is celebrating 10 years as an MP (w110610-3c)
John Mann is celebrating 10 years as an MP (w110610-3c)

Ken Clarke, Justice Minister in David Cameron’s Government claimed this week that we are losing the war on drugs.

Rubbish. In Bassetlaw we have been winning the war, but now the self same Ken Clarke is undermining it.

Clarke has closed Retford magistrates court and is about to close Worksop magistrates court. Local JPs will disappear and he has also backed the cuts to local policing and the closure of the cells at Worksop police station.

One part of our success on drugs was the NHS input, the other good policing. Now drug dealers will not be arrested or tried unless they are taken to Mansfield or Nottingham. You cannot run a real police service this way. It is about time Ken Clarke pulled his finger out and backed local justice in Bassetlaw.

One real scandal is the increasing number of prisoners absconding in Mansfield - a situation which police, magistrates and support services have all reported to me. This is happening regularly.

What is Ken Clarke going to do about this shambles? The would-be police commissioners will need to be absolutely clear on this as well and commit to re-opening our police cells in Worksop.


On Monday I repeated my call for Bob Diamond , head of Barclays Bank to resign. I was a lone voice in Westminster. On Tuesday he resigned blaming pressure from politicians. Sorry Bob, but I was only doing my job. After pay of over £20 million a year I do not think he will starve.

His bank fiddled its interest rates for years, costing businesses and homeowners in order to boost traders profits. Some were stupid enough to brag about it and were caught.

Now they need to be jailed. But those at the top need to be punished too. Their inflated pensions and bonuses need clawing back and it should be illegal to run a major company in this way.

The truth is that Barclays Bank repeatedly and knowingly lied in order to make more money. A bank is only any good to us if it is an honest bank and the entire board of Barclays should resign or be sacked.

I expect the scandal to grow and other banks, including Nat West, or Royal Bank of Scotland as it is now called to become embroiled with it.