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So legal aid is an essential part of a just legal system. If the downtrodden can't use the courts for redress against the powerful, then inequality becomes entrenches and we might as well be back in a feudal society. Legal aid has been cut under the coalition, particularly in cases that involve welfare and unemployment, where it's obvious that people claiming will be struggling for money and up against a better funded system. We've also seen the introduction of fees to raise an employment tribunal claim, which has resulted in an 80% reduction in those claims being filed. [Applause]

Now what the figures don't say is how many of those are normally bogus. Rather than just shutting down those bogus claims, as we intended, have we instead given unscrupulous employers a license to mistreat their staff? As I've said before, we need to stand up for the weak and vulnerable in our society, and if that means we have to put up with a few people trying to gain the system, then, I'm okay with that.

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