Ministers insist they are making good progress in tackling the courts backlog despite coming under heavy criticism from opposition MPs over delays in the justice system.

Justice minister James Cartlidge told the Commons on Tuesday that cases in the magistrates’ court were close to reaching pre-pandemic levels while the Crown court backlog has fallen from 61,000 cases in June 2021 to 58,700 cases in November 2021. ‘I can confirm that in the next financial year, we expect to get through 20% more Crown court cases than we did in the year previous to Covid,’ he added.