The GLA was set-up in 2005, following the Morecambe Bay tragedy which resulted in the deaths of 21 Chinese cockle pickers illegally employed by gangmasters.
Following speculation about its future, Jim Sheridan, the Labour MP whose Private Members Bill led to the establishment of the GLA, sought assurances from Mr Paice ‘there are no plans to change how the agency operates or how it is funded’.
Mr Paice said: “Discussions are taking place within Government on whether Defra is the right place for the GLA, so I cannot give the undertakings he is perhaps demanding, but the existence and purpose of the GLA is absolutely right and will be maintained.”
A Defra spokesperson said there were no current plans to relocate the GLA away from Defra but a review by the Business Department is ‘considering other possible models of compliance and enforcement’. It will report in spring 2012.