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General election 2017: new lord chancellor and results analysis

13 June 2017

Prime Minister Theresa May has reshuffled a number of Cabinet posts, including the lord chancellor, and her two most senior advisors – Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill – have resigned.


 The new government

In a speech outside 10 Downing Street the prime minister said that the Conservatives will seek to agree a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to reach the number of seats required to form a majority. Below is a summary of their main policies on Brexit and the Rule of Law. Justice is a devolved matter.

Ministerial Reshuffle

Over the weekend, the prime minister replaced the eight ministers who lost their seats during the election, and made a number of changes at Cabinet level.

  • The Rt Hon David Liddington MP has moved from Leader of the House of Commons to lord chancellor and secretary of state for justice
  • The Rt Hon Liz Truss has moved from lord chancellor and secretary of state for justice to chief secretary to the treasury
  • The Rt Hon Damian Green has moved from secretary of state for work of pension to become first secretary of state and minister for the cabinet office
  • The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP has been appointed as Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • The Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP has moved from secretary of state for the environment, food and rural affairs to leader of the House of Commons
  • The Rt Hon David Gauke MP has moved from Chief Secretary to the Treasury to Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
  • Brandon Lewis remains a Home Office ministers but will now attend cabinet

A number of junior ministerial roles are yet to be filled.

Conservative Manifesto

Brexit:

  • Use the twelve priorities from the prime minister’s Lancaster House speech for Brexit.
  • Leave the single market and Customs Union but seek a deep and special partnership including a comprehensive free trade and customs agreement.
  • Work together with the EU in the fight against crime and terrorism and secure a smooth, orderly Brexit.
  • Create a United Kingdom Shared Prosperity Fund, taken from money coming back to the UK as we leave the EU.
  • Encourage trade with countries outside the EU through a Trade Bill, a network of nine regional Trade Commissioners and reconvening of the Board of Trade.

Access to justice:

  • Continue to modernise courts, improving court buildings and facilities and making it easier for people to resolve disputes and secure justice.
  • Crack down on 'exaggerated and fraudulent' whiplash claims and consider a ban on companies’ cold calling people encouraging them to bring personal injury claims.
  • Introduce a Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill and create a Domestic Violence and Abuse commissioner.
  • Ensure publicly-funded advocates have specialist training in handling victims before taking on serious sexual offences cases.
  • Ensure that child victims and victims of sexual violence are able to be cross-examined before their trial without the distress of having to appear in court.

Rule of law:

  • Not bring the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights into UK law and will not repeal or replace the Human Rights Act while the process of Brexit is underway.
  • Remain signatories to the European Convention on Human Rights for the duration of the next parliament.
  • Restrict legal aid for 'law firms that issue vexatious legal claims against the armed forces' and strengthen legal services regulation.
  • Introduce better compensation for injured armed forces personnel and the families of those killed in combat.

Other:

  • Maintain the annual net migration of tens of thousands.
  • Ask the independent Migration Advisory Committee to make recommendations to on a new visa system.
  • Maintain plans to drop corporation tax to 17% by 2020.

DUP Manifesto

Brexit:

The DUP manifesto includes extensive priorities and objectives for the negotiations with the EU. Overall they point to the DUP’s desire for a ‘soft’ Brexit however it must be noted that they did campaign to leave the EU last year.

  • Ending the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice ended and greater control over our laws restored
  • Ease of trade with the Irish Republic and throughout the European Union and maintenance of the  Common Travel Area
  • Frictionless border with the Irish Republic assisting those working or travelling in the other jurisdiction
  • Comprehensive free trade and customs agreement with the European Union
  • Arrangements to facilitate ease of movement of people, goods and services
  • Effective immigration policy which meets the skills, labour and security needs of the UK
  • Safeguarding of the rights of British citizens in the EU and those from EU member states living here
  • Ability to opt-in to EU funds where proven to be cost-effective and add value
  • Continued participation in funding programmes that have been proven to be of benefit and are open to non-EU members e.g. research funding
  • Positive ongoing relationship with European Union in keeping with Article 8 of Lisbon Treaty (The Union shall develop a special relationship with neighbouring countries).

Rule of Law:

  • The DUP would call for a review of our terrorist legislation including:
    • An updated legal framework for intelligence led anti-terrorism investigations and operations in the UK
    • A UK wide definition of a victim which excludes perpetrators
    • Changes to the glorification of terrorism offences with an examination of the 20 year time limit.
    • Consideration of intelligence and security committee membership representing all regions of the UK
  • The recent Defence Select Committee’s report ‘Investigation into Fatalities in Northern Ireland involving British Personnel’ recommends Government bring forward a statute of limitations, following a DUP led debate in Parliament. The DUP also managed to secure Committee backing to extend such a proposal to include members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary and other security personnel.

Wider business:

  • The maintenance of the present workers’ rights framework and for the UK to lead the way in improving this framework as it has throughout its history
  • Reducing the rate of corporation tax to at least 12.5%

Labour Manifesto

Brexit:

  • Replace the Brexit White Paper with fresh negotiating priorities that have a strong emphasis on retaining the benefits of the Single Market and the Customs Union.
  • Reject ‘no deal’ as a viable option and negotiate transitional arrangements to avoid a cliff-edge for the UK economy.

Parliament:

Legally qualified MPs

51 existing solicitor qualified MPs retained their seats.

There have been a number of solicitor qualified MPs newly elected in England and Wales:

 
SeatNamePartyBarrister/solicitor
Bristol North West Darren Jones Lab Solicitor
East Renfrewshire Paul Masterton Con Solicitor
Hitchin and Harpenden Bim Afolami Con Solicitor
Manchester Gorton Afzal Khan Lab Solicitor
Middlesbrough & South East Cleveland Simon Clarke Con Solicitor
Peterborough Fiona Onasanya Lab Solicitor
Enfield Southgate Bambos Charalambous Lab Solicitor
Berwickshire, Roxburgh and SelkirkJohn LamontConSolicitor

The following solicitor qualified MPs from the last Parliament did not win their seat in England and Wales:

SeatNamePartyBarrister/solicitorElected
Stockton South James Wharton Con Solicitor 2010
Dumfries and Galloway Richard ArklessSNPSolicitor (dual qualified)2015
Bury NorthDavid NuttallConSolicitor  

The legally qualified MPs in England and Wales who stood down at the end of the last parliament were:

  • Edward Garnier
  • Rob Marris

Women MPs

This parliament will have a record number of women MPs, with 10 more than the 2015 Parliament. The total number is now 207 – almost 32% MPs. We are delighted with the gain for women in parliament, and are pleased to welcome them to Parliament and look forward to engaging with them.

Other notable losses

The following ministers lost their seats:

  • Ben Gummer, Cabinet Office minister
  • Gavin Barwell, Housing minister
  • Jane Ellison, Financial secretary to the treasury
  • Simon Kirby, Economic secretary to the treasury (City Minister)
  • Rob Wilson, minister for civil society
  • James Wharton, international development minister
  • Nicola Blackwood, Public Health Minister
  • David Mowat, health minister
  • Edward Timpson, education minister

Additionally, other high-profile MPs to lose their seats include:

  • Former Liberal Democrat leader and deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, lost his Sheffield Hallam seat.
  • Former Scottish first minister, Alex Salmond (Gordon), and SNP Westminster Leader, Angus Robertson (Moray) both lost their seats.

Paul Nuttall failed to win his seat and has resigned as leader of UKIP.

English Votes for English Laws

For legislation subject to the English Votes for English Laws provisions - those which only affect England - the Conservatives still have a clear majority in the House of Commons with 297 of the 533 seats, compared to Labour’s 226, the Liberal Democrats’ 8 and Greens’ 1.

Tags: Theresa May | Westminster weekly update | access to justice | Parliament | Conservatives | Labour | Liberal Democrats | Jeremy Corbyn

About the author

Alexandra Cardenas is Head of Public Affairs and Campaigns at the Law Society. Public Affairs manages the relationships with parliament and government. She is a dual qualified solicitor in England and Wales (2014), and Colombia (2002). Prior to the Society, she practised as a human rights lawyer and worked at Macmillan Cancer Support and Animal Defenders International.

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