Cases had to be delayed, postponed and abandoned because Applied Language Services (ALS) only had 280 properly assessed interpreters ready for use across the UK when the courts required 1,200. The result was total chaos, Public Accounts Committee chairman Margaret Hodge said. Court officials have had to scramble to find qualified interpreters at short notice, individuals have been kept on remand solely because no interpreter was available and the quality of interpreters has at times been appalling. However, Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly, who was Justice Minister at the time ALS was awarded the annual £42million contract, said the situation had improved dramatically in recent months. Theyve got the contract and a decision was taken earlier in the summer to let them run with it rather than end it, he said. We have now got to make sure it works. He acknowledged it was very annoying to courts when they have interpreters booked who dont show or arent up to the job and said providing interpreters for some nationalities had been more problematic than others He said: The last time Id seen figures on it, theyd sorted it out in most areas. Paul Bullen, a Huntingdon magistrate he resigned before standing as the UKIP candidate in this years Police and Crime Commissioner election, said there were numerous times when weve had to abandon cases due to failings with interpreters.