Norfolk MP’s credentials for lord chancellor role questioned

Elizabeth Truss. Pic: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Elizabeth Truss. Pic: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire - Credit: PA

The credentials of Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss to serve as lord chancellor have been questioned by two members of the House of Lords.

Lord Faulks, QC, has resigned from his post as justice minister, questioning whether the South West Norfolk MP will have the clout to stand up to the prime minister on behalf of the judges.

The Conservative peer told The Times: 'I have nothing against Ms Truss personally. But is she going to have the clout to be able to stand up to the prime minister, when necessary, on behalf of the judges? Is she going to be able to stand up, come the moment, for the rule of law and for the judiciary... without fear of damaging her career? It is a big ask.'

The appointment of Ms Truss, who moved from environment secretary to become justice secretary in Theresa May's cabinet reshuffle, was also questioned by Labour's Lord Falconer.

He wrote in The Times: 'The most amenable lord chancellor that a prime minister could find would be one who looks to her for promotion: an ambitious middle-ranking cabinet minister whose main ambition is to go further up the greasy pole, with no known signs of independence. Liz Truss appears to fit the bill perfectly.' Conservative Bob Neill, who chairs the justice select committee, also said it could be hard for somebody with no legal background and a lack of senior cabinet experience, to represent the judiciary.

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Ms Truss was not available for comment. But The Guardian reported a source close to her as saying the criticism was 'thinly veiled misogyny' and other justice secretaries without legal qualifications had not been subjected to the same level of criticisms by 'old, pale, male judges and politicians'.

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