Courts in Bradford have been disrupted today as lawyers stage a one-day strike in protest at Government proposals to cut legal aid fees.

Some cases at both the crown and magistrates court have failed to go ahead because defendants were unrepresented due to the industrial action by barristers, supported by solicitors.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling is cutting fees for barristers and solicitors in a bid to slash £220 million from the legal aid budget.

The Ministry of Justice said it had no choice but to significantly reduce the money it spends, and said the plans represented an average two per cent reduction for lower paid barristers.

But the Criminal Bar Association claims the cuts would dismantle the criminal justice system and the public would not get true justice, with many lawyers being forced out of the profession.

Dozens of criminal barristers at the Broadway House chambers in Bradford joined thousands of colleagues across the country in the day of action, which meant they did not attend crown court.

Michelle Colborne QC, head of chambers at Broadway House, said: “This is not a decision taken lightly. We are all deeply saddened by the position we are in."