Defend Magna Carta
The Justice Alliance once again proved its ability to mobilise support in defence of legal aid with a three-day ‘relay’ from the site of the sealing of the Magna Carta at Runnymede in Berkshire, culminating in a protest outside parliament to coincide with the start of the government’s controversial global law summit. Marchers, including a giant effigy of justice secretary Chris Grayling, were met by the actor Maxine Peake, aka Martha Costello QC from the BBC courtroom drama Silk. Peake is a veteran legal aid defender, having also turned out to support a similar protest last year, ensuring widespread media coverage of the 2014 event. She was not the only celebrity to back the ‘not the global law summit’ protest, but while Oscar winner Emma Thompson sent a letter of support, Peake stood around in the February cold for well over an hour, before reading from the Magna Carta to the assembled throng.