Chris Grayling, the new hard-line Lord Chancellor, isn’t the kind of guy who naturally elicits sympathy. But yesterday was an exception, as poor Grayling was put through a creepy League of Gentleman-style initiation by Lord Judge and his guffawing underlings at the High Court.
"Much has been made of the fact that the new Lord Chancellor is not legally qualified," began Judge as he welcomed Grayling to the role, before pointing out that there had in fact been three previous holders of the 1,400 year-old office who were not lawyers.
After pausing for comic effect, Judge noted that all three had ended up in the Tower of London....
Cue reams of laughter from the bewigged senior members of the judiciary, clad in their
weird fancy dress ceremonial garb of red and ermine or black with gold brocade
Continuing, Judge reassured Grayling that: "This is not a fate we wish on our new Lord Chancellor."
To which the quivering politician– wearing ceremonial robes but no wig, according to the Press Association – responded that he was "hugely honoured" to get the gig, believed "very much in the rule of law" and was committed to the protection of judicial independence, before running screaming out of the Royal Courts of Justice in the direction of Westminster.