Plans to close the Forensic Science Service could compromise the courts system and leave the country unable to deal with the aftermath of a major terrorist incident, Jonathan Reynolds MP told Parliament.
The warning from the Stalybridge and Hyde MP was issued during a Westminster Hall debate on the closure, which took place on May 17.
Reynolds asked the Home Office Minister Damian Green for assurances that the plans would not compromise standards of justice and he said, in his own Stalybridge and Hyde constituency, the toxicology evidence that had been so important in the conviction of Harold Shipman was a powerful reminder of the value of the support offered by the FSS to law enforcement agencies.
MPs also heard that while following the bombings and attempted bombings of July 7 and July 21, more than 100 FSS scientists were called on to analyse 4500 items the closure plans raised doubts over whether the private sector would have the capability and the capacity to deal with similar incidents when FSS closes in March 2012.
He said: "Leaving the UK unable to deal with the aftermath of a terrorist attack is not acceptable. And if the government cannot prove their plans have the rigour to cope, they should withdraw them immediately and think again."