May 14, 2024 - 1:30pm

Conservative MP David Davis today used Parliamentary privilege to raise an urgent question about yesterday’s New Yorker essay challenging the Lucy Letby murder verdict. The 13,000-word piece is available to read on the magazine’s US site but has not been made available on the UK version for legal reasons. It is visible for British users of the New Yorker app and subscribers to the print magazine.

Davis was speaking this afternoon during a session of Justice questions in the House of Commons. Addressing Justice Secretary Alex Chalk, the backbencher stated that the New Yorker article “raised enormous concerns about both the logic and competence of the statistical evidence that was a central part of that trial”. Davis went on to say that the piece “was blocked from publication on the UK internet, I understand, because of a court order”. While the MP acknowledged that the order was “well-intended”, he suggested that it was “in defiance of open justice”, and asked Chalk whether he would “look into the matter and report back to the House [of Commons]”.


The Justice Secretary responded that “court orders must be obeyed” and can be “displaced by someone applying to the court for them to be removed”. He added that the process would “need to take place within the normal course of events”, and that “juries’ verdicts must be respected.” Chalk also said: “if there are grounds for an appeal, that should take place in the normal way.”

Letby, a British nurse, was sentenced to life imprisonment last year for the murder of seven babies in her care. She pled not guilty to the total of 18 charges against her, and now faces a retrial next month on a single charge on which the jury did not reach a verdict in 2023.

is UnHerd’s Assistant Editor, Newsroom.