David Gauke becomes first solicitor Lord Chancellor

Former financial services solicitor David Gauke was appointed Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary in Theresa May’s latest reshuffle.

The first solicitor to hold the post, he became the sixth Lord Chancellor in as many years. He replaced David Lidington, who held the post for just seven months, before being promoted to Cabinet Office minister and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

After Ken Clarke was replaced in 2012, Chris Grayling became the first non-lawyer to hold the job for more than 400 years. He remained in post for two years and eight months before being replaced by non-lawyers, Michael Gove who held the job for 14 months and Liz Truss who was in post for 11 months.

Gauke, elected MP for South West Hertfordshire in 2005, was previously Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. Educated at state comprehensive Northgate High School, he studied law at St Edmund Hall, Oxford before qualifying as a solicitor in 1997 and working at City firm Macfarlanes for six years.

He voted remain in the EU referendum and has voted in favour of gay rights and equal marriage and for a stricter asylum system. He was criticised during the MPs’ expenses row for claiming over £10,000 in stamp duty and fees for a second home in central London, despite owning a property only one hour away on public transport.

Bar Chair, Andrew Walker QC, welcomed his appointment and said he must ensure justice is properly resourced and functioning effectively.

Former diplomat and Foreign Office minister, Rory Stewart, and former commercial Silk, Lucy Frazer, replaced Dominic Raab and Sam Gyimah as ministers at the Ministry of Justice.

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