Mr Justice Gross has granted policyholder action group Emag a full High Court hearing as it seeks to quash the Government’s response to the
Ombudsman’s report into the regulation of Equitable Life.
Mr Justice Gross says the case raises “questions of wide general importance for public administration” and it is “a manifestly appropriate case for proceeding to a full hearing”.
Emag had asked the court to expedite the case and the judge directed that the full hearing should take place as soon reasonably practicable.
The Treasury has been given until June 24 to prepare its defence.
More than 100 MPs have signed up to the all-party group “Justice for Equitable Life policyholders”, while an Early Day Motion put forward by Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable calling on the Government to implement Ombudsman Ann Abraham’s recommendations on compensation has received nearly 200 signatures from MPs.
Emag’s general secretary Paul Braithwaite says: “The tide of moral indignation is finally turning in our favour and there’s a growing realisation that there are a significant number of votes to be won and lost over Equitable Life in the general election.
“This Government is out of step with public opinion, Parliament, the Parliamentary Ombudsman, media commentators and the victims of this scandal.
He adds: “After ten years of delay and obfuscation over Equitable Life the Government is now in very deep manure. It’s time to stop digging and pay up.”