Fourth non-lawyer Lord Chancellor and second within 12 months

The Prime Minister appointed David Lidington as Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice in a mini-reshuffle that followed the snap election.

Lidington, 60, has represented Aylesbury since 1992. Until the election, he was Leader of the House of Commons, having served as minister of state for Europefor six years.

Before entering Parliament, he worked for BP and Rio Tinto-Zinc Corporation and spent three years as special adviser to Douglas Hurd.

Educated at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School in Hertfordshire, he studied history atSidney Sussex College, Cambridge.

His record shows that he has generally voted in favour of restricting legal aid and against equal gay rights and laws to promote equality and human rights. Last year he voted in favour of repealing the Human Rights Act 1998.

A Remain supporter, he viewed the EU referendum as advisory and, following the vote, spoke against an MP who called for parliamentary control over judicial appointments.

The fourth non-lawyer in a row and second Lord Chancellor in 12 months, he replaces Liz Truss, who was demoted to Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

Truss had faced criticised for her perceived failure to support the judiciary when it came under media attack during the Brexit judicial review. The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas of Cymgiedd, said she had been ‘completely and utterly wrong’ in her failure to speak out.

In a statement, Lidington said he was ‘pleased and honoured’ by the appointment.

He said: ‘Democracy and freedom are built on the rule of law, and are protected by a strong and independent judiciary.

‘I look forward to taking my oath as Lord Chancellor, and to working with the Lord Chief Justice and his fellow judges in the months ahead, to ensure that justice is fairly administered and robustly defended.’

Offering congratulations, Bar Chair Andrew Langdon QC said: ‘The role played by the Lord Chancellor in upholding the rule of law and defending the independence of our judiciary is fundamental to our constitutional arrangements.

‘I look forward to working with the Lord Chancellor to improve the quality and efficiency of our system of justice and to promote our legal services sector and judiciary, whose excellence are renowned globally.’

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