Response from Dominic Raab MP to Sir David Norgrove: Statistics on transgender prisoners

Dear Sir David,


Thank you for your letter of 26 November expressing your disappointment that statistics on transgender
prisoners were disclosed ahead of their official publication.

I share your disappointment and can assure you that the Ministry of Justice is taking this breach of the
statutory Code of Practice for Statistics seriously. In line with Departmental and Cabinet Office guidance,
the Permanent Secretary has ordered a leak investigation which is currently underway and will report
initial findings by 10 December.

You noted that the statistical bulletin listed some 80 people who were given access to the figures ahead of
publication. I agree this is an unnecessarily large number of people and have asked my officials to review
and reduce the pre-release lists for this bulletin and for all of our statistical publications. The Department’s
Head of Profession for statistics – Jo Peacock – will update the Office for Statistics Regulation once the
review is complete.

Yours sincerely



Related links:

Sir David Norgrove to Dominic Raab – Statistics on transgender prisoners

Sir David Norgrove to Dominic Raab – Statistics on transgender prisoners

Dear Lord Chancellor,

I am sure you were as disappointed as I was to see that statistics on transgender prisoners were disclosed to the Daily Telegraph the day before their official publication on 25 November.

The statutory Code of Practice for Statistics requires that “statistics must be equally available to all, and not be released partially or to selected audiences”. For data on a sensitive topic to be published first in a newspaper alongside commentary from campaigning organisations is the opposite of what the Code expects and what the public deserve. Such leaks risk both misinforming the public and undermining trust in official statistics, giving the impression of special access for favoured groups. I am sure you would agree on the importance of trustworthy statistics, equally accessible to all.

The statistical bulletin lists some 80 people who were given access to the figures ahead of publication. The Code requires that access should be limited to those involved in the production and release of the statistics, and for quality assurance and operational purposes. 80 people cannot be needed for this. I should be grateful if the list could at least be reviewed and minimised to reduce the risk of a similar abuse in future.

But beyond this the longstanding view of the UK Statistics Authority is that Ministers and officials should not have access to statistics before they are made public. Equality of access to official statistics is a fundamental principle of statistical good practice, and the existence of pre-release access undermines trust in our official statistics system. It would give a strong signal were you to agree that Ministry of Justice statistics should be seen by Ministers and officials on publication, as is already the case for ONS statistics.

Statisticians in the MoJ are preparing a report on this breach of the Code. I know you will take note of this report and would urge you to review the Ministry of Justice’s practices in relation to pre-release access to statistics.

Yours Sincerely,

Sir David Norgrove

David Lammy to Boris Johnson: additional courts system funding


The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP
Prime Minister
10 Downing Street

29 June 2021


Dear Prime Minister,

CC: The Speaker, The UK Statistics Authority


Under the Conservative government rape convictions and prosecutions have fallen to a record-low, while the Crown Court backlog has risen to a record-high.

As a result victims are waiting years to get justice, if they get it at all. Violent criminals are getting away with rape as a result.

In Parliament you not only dismissed Keir Starmer’s serious questions about the record-low conviction and prosecution rates for rape as ‘jabber’, you misled the House on the amount of funding your government was providing to fix it.

You claimed:

“We are fixing that and we are fixing that by investing another £1 billion in clearing the court backlogs, in ensuring they have people they can listen to and trust who will help them through the trials of the criminal justice experience, Mr Speaker”

In fact, government figures show it you are investing just a quarter of this amount. As outlined in the spending Review, the government is investing:

“£275 million to manage the downstream demand impact of 20,000 additional police officers and reduce backlogs in the Crown Court caused by COVID-19.”

This is either a deliberate lie, or a terrible mistake which shows you have no grasp of the scale of the problem for victims in the justice system.

Will you come to the House urgently to correct the record and apologise, again, to rape victims for failing them?

I have cc’ed the Speaker and the UK Statistics Authority to investigate this urgent matter.


Yours sincerely,

Rt. Hon. David Lammy MP

Shadow Justice Secretary & Shadow Lord Chancellor



Related links:

Response from Sir David Norgrove to David Lammy: additional courts system funding

Response from Sir David Norgrove to David Lammy: additional courts system funding


Rt Hon David Lammy MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Justice & Shadow Lord Chancellor
(via email)

29 July 2021

Dear Mr Lammy,


Thank you for your letter of 29 June about a statement by the Prime Minister on funding for

I understand that the Lord Chancellor wrote to you on 9 July with a breakdown of the
additional £1 billion that you asked about. The Ministry of Justice has now published this
breakdown1 and we are satisfied with the accuracy of the explanation.

It is right that these figures are presented publicly, so that they are equally available to all
to support public understanding, in line with the principles of the Code of Practice for


Yours sincerely,

Sir David Norgrove



1Ad hoc courts system funding update, Ministry of Justice, 29 July 2021


Related links:

Letter from David Lammy to Boris Johnson: additional courts system funding

Kit Malthouse to Sir David Norgrove – Crime Statistics

Dear Sir David,

I am writing to express my concern over comments made by the Leader of the Opposition, Sir Keir Starmer QC MP, in the House of Commons, to the media and on social media on Wednesday 28 April 2021 and Thursday 29 April 2021.

During Prime Ministers Questions on Wednesday 28 April 2021 Sir Keir claimed that ‘crime is going up’. He repeated this claim in a clip to the media and finally he tweeted a video of his remarks in the Chamber.

These claims are false and conflict with official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) is the most reliable measure of trends in crime. Between the year ending June 2019 and the beginning of lockdown (year ending March 2020), the Survey estimated a significant 9% reduction in crime. Underlying this were significant falls in theft (12%) and criminal damage (13%).

Since the pandemic began, the ONS quarterly publication has reported based on findings from a Telephone-operated Crime Survey for England and Wales (TCSEW) and police recorded crime. The ONS have made clear that TCSEW estimates are not directly comparable with estimates derived from the face-to-face Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW).

The public have a right not to be misled, especially with regard to a subject as emotive and important as crime. I request that you investigate the Leader of the Labour Party’s claims and issue the necessary censure should you decide that his comments were misleading.

Yours sincerely,

Kit Malthouse

Minister of State in the Home Office and Ministry of Justice

Related links:

Letter from Sir David Norgrove to Sir Keir Starmer – Crime Statistics

Response from Sir David Norgrove to Kit Malthouse – Crime Statistics