The Liberal Democrats have promised to pump £500m into the legal aid system, increasing the current budget by almost a third.

In their 96-page election manifesto, the Liberal Democrats pledge to ‘establish a new right to affordable, reasonable legal assistance, and invest £500 million to restore legal aid, making the system simpler and more generous’.

With the current legal aid budget standing at £1.6bn, the pledge marks a substantial investment in the justice system.

In 'Jo’s Plan for the Future’, party leader Jo Swinson also promises to invest £1bn in community policing; to crack down on short prison sentences; to introduce a written constitution; and to create an online crime agency to tackle illegal content and activity online, such as personal fraud and revenge porn.

The manifesto also addresses hot legal topics, pledging to halt the use of facial recognition surveillance and to introduce a right to no-fault divorce. 

On diversity in the justice system, the Liberal Democrats said they would ensure the judiciary, the police and the prison service adopt ‘ambitious targets for diversity’ and provide regular reports to parliament.

Labour is due to publish its manifesto tomorrow.