Here is a quick post on how the Cabinet reshuffle (or ‘clearout’ might be a better word given how few Cabinet members are keeping their jobs) has impacted upon the departments responsible for legal matters:
- With Theresa May becoming Prime Minister, a new Home Secretary was required. This post has been filled by Amber Rudd.
- Michael Gove was sacked as Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor. He has been replaced by Liz Truss, the former Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. She will be the first ever female Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor (although there are some who argue that Eleanor of Provence was the first Lord Chancellor when she filled in for Henry III in 1253), and the third non-lawyer in a row to hold these posts. Despite his unpopularity of late, the general belief was that Gove did a good job and had effectively remedied a number of the mistakes made by his disastrous predecessor, Chris Grayling.
- From a company law perspective, the key reform has been the rebranding of the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, which will become the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The Secretary of State for this rebranded department will be Greg Clark, who replaces Sajid Javid. The exact scope of this rebranded department, and how it works with other business-related departments, will hopefully become clear over the next few days.
- A new Department for International Trade is created and Liam Fox becomes Secretary of State for International Trade. This is controversial appointment, given that Liam Fox resigned in disgrace in 2011.
- David Davis has been appointed as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. Amusingly, Davis is currently suing the UK government on the ground that it has failed to uphold EU law, with the opinion of the Advocate-General being due next week.
- Jeremy Wright QC will remain as Attorney General (the Attorney General is not a Cabinet minister, but does attend Cabinet meetings).
Full details of all the new Cabinet appointments and their holders can be found at the website for the Prime Minister’s Office.