Refugee and Migrant Justice, whose future was reported to be under threat earlier this month, has today gone into administration. The charity, which provides legal support to thousands of asylum-seekers across England and Wales, is suffering a cash-flow crisis because of changes to the system of legal aid payments.
Paul Gray, the chair of RMJ, said:
It is with great sadness that RMJ's trustees took the decision . . . we are very concerned about the position of our 10,000 clients, and of our dedicated and highly professional staff.
This situation is caused by late payment of legal aid by up to two years, not inefficiency or even lack of income . . . Late payment has an unequal impact on charities because they cannot get bank loans to finance the cash gap.
Public figures including the Archbishop of Canterbury, Shami Chakrabarti and the film director Ken Loach have called for the charity to be rescued. Coalition ministers have already promised a review of legal aid and to speed up the asylum system, but have so far refused to change payment rules set in place by the last government.