Alok Sharma, the Member of Parliament for Reading West, held a debate in Parliament yesterday to once again highlight the tragic deaths of his constituents Kris Jarvis and John Morland who were killed last year by a dangerous driver and called on the government to toughen the sentencing regime for those who kill through dangerous driving. The debate was attended by the fiancées of Kris and John, Tracey Fidler and Hayley Lindsay and local Reading campaigner Karen Rowland.
Following the debate Alok Sharma said: “I was delighted that MPs from all parties spoke up in favour of strengthening sentencing for dangerous driving. It was an excellent example of cross-party consensus on the need for a change in the law. I am also pleased that following the meeting that Tracey and Hayley and I had with the Prime Minister earlier this year, the review of penalties for driving offences is fully underway within the Ministry of Justice and the points raised by Tracey and Hayley with the Prime Minister are being taken into account as a part of this review.”
Alok continued: “Whilst the Minister responding to this debate could not give a precise timing for when the public consultation on this review will be launched, he did note that the Government would publicise the public consultation as widely as possible and at the conclusion of this whole process we are likely to have a proposal for a change in the law which Parliament will have to vote on. This will be another opportunity in Parliament to set out the case for strengthening the law. Of course the courts and judges decide on the level of sentencing in each case but the framework for the sentencing levels is set by Parliament and MPs must act on this to reflect the strength in feeling across the country as shown in the fantastic e-petition launched by Tracey and Hayley.”
After the debate Minister Andrew Selous MP met with Tracey, Hayley, Karen and Alok to hear their personal views on the matter.
Tracey Fidler said: “I am really encouraged after this debate which Alok held for us, we do seem to be moving forward in getting the law changed. It was clear that all the MPs speaking, from all parties, want the law strengthened. All Hayley and I want is for other families of victims to feel justice is being done and we don’t think this happened in the case of Kris and John. We want their loss to mean something and lead to a change in the law and we will keep campaigning with Alok and others until this happens.”
The full transcript of the debate from Hansard
can be found here
Photo: Alok Sharma with Tracey Fidler, Hayley Lindsay, Karen Rowland and Minister Andrew Selous MP