New faces in the coalition government

Barristers Dominic Grieve QC and Edward Garnier QC have been appointed Attorney General and Solicitor General respectively in the new Con–Lib Dem coalition government.


Grieve, MP for Beaconsfield since 1997, was Shadow Attorney General from 2003 to 2009 and was also Shadow Justice Secretary before the election.

Grieve said: “I am particularly pleased to be in a position to contribute to the government’s civil liberties agenda, which is a personal priority for me, to work to improve access to justice and to ensure the rule of law strongly underpins everything we do.”
Garnier, MP for Harborough since 1992, was PPS to the Attorney General and to the Solicitor General before 1997. He was a Shadow Minister after 1997 and most recently was Shadow Attorney General. Grieve and Garnier are both Benchers of Middle Temple.

Former criminal barrister, Ken Clarke has been sworn in as Lord Chancellor. The new Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor is a veteran of three decades of government. He first served as a whip in Ted Heath’s government (1972–74); as Health Secretary and Science and Education Secretary to Margaret Thatcher; and Home Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer under John Major in the 1990s.
Clarke, who was Called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn in 1963 and took Silk in 1980, said: “I look forward to working closely with my friends in the judiciary.”

He will have oversight of all MoJ business as well as responsibility for criminal justice and penal policy strategy, constitutional issues, judicial policy, and national security justice issues. Liberal Democrat peer Lord McNally and former shadow Justice Secretary Nick Herbert, Conservative MP, have been appointed ministers at the MoJ.

Nick Herbert is the Police Minister, covering criminal justice strategy. Lord McNally will have responsibility for departmental business in the Lords, supporting the Secretary of State on constitutional matters, civil liberties, freedom of information, data protection and data sharing, legislation and law reform, public law and public legal issues, Crown Dependencies, Land Registry, National Archives and the Law Commission.

City solicitor Jonathan Djanogly, a former partner at SJ Berwin, and ex-army officer Crispin Blunt, have been appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State in the MoJ. Jonathan Djanogly is responsible for legal aid, family and civil law, coroner reform, HM Courts Service and Tribunals, and the Parole Board. Crispin Blunt will be in charge of prisons and probation, youth justice, criminal law and sentencing and criminal justice.

Theresa May has been appointed Home Secretary, and will also be Minister for Women and Equality.

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