In brief: Labour questions PFI policy

Labour will attack controversial government plans for outsourcing court computer systems and other functions in a parliamentary select committee inquiry into the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) this week. Labour legal spokesman Paul Boateng, briefing committee colleagues, called for a halt to the “dogma-driven” policy and for a full parliamentary debate on the matter after consultation with the judiciary, unions and consumer bodies. “The public interest in this is clear. Private commercial interests have no place in the administration of justice,” Boateng said. The inquiry, held by the Treasury Committee on 24 January afternoon, will grill ministers and officials on the suitability and value for money of PFI schemes. It invites public memoranda expressing views. Contact committee clerk Dr Philip Hensher at the House of Commons.