A major restructuring of the criminal legal aid system in England and Wales has been scrapped, Justice Secretary Michael Gove has confirmed.
Mr Gove said he had “decided not to go ahead” with plans to cut duty solicitor contracts at police stations and magistrates’ courts by two thirds.
He also suspended for 12 months a second 8.75% cut in legal aid fees.
Labour shadow justice secretary Lord Falconer said the government’s plans had “descended into utter chaos”.
The proposed cuts – drawn up by former Justice Secretary Chris Grayling – would have reduced the number of legal aid contracts from 1,600 to 527.
However, Mr Gove said there were “real problems” in pressing ahead with the proposals.