BPTC student stands for local council in Grayling’s constituency

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By Judge John Hack on

Funnily enough, young Labour party candidate and wannabe barrister takes a dim view of the Lord Chancellor’s record on access to justice


The countdown to the next general election may be gripping those in the Westminster Village, but the denizens of a Surrey market town will be voting on the political aspirations of a wannabe barrister — all in a part of the world close to the heart of the Lord Chancellor.

Alex Cisneros — a part-time Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) student at London’s City University — is bidding for seat on the Epsom and Ewell Borough Council, which just happens to be in the constituency of Justice Secretary Chris Grayling and will also be contested on 7 May.

Cisneros (pictured above) is standing for the Labour Party and therefore rather predictably has some robust views regarding the local MP.

“Like me,” the prospective local councillor told Legal Cheek, “Grayling was a member of his university Amnesty International society. Nowadays, though, he shows scant regard for disenfranchised people, many of whom he is meant to represent in Epsom and Ewell.”

Instead, says the former Exeter University law student, Grayling “has spearheaded policies which deprive these people of basic rights to justice, and some constituents have even taken to protesting on his doorstep against these policies.” He continues:

“As a Labour councillor in the area, I would be given a platform to represent the voices of those constituents that Grayling seems to have forgotten.”

Unlike the former television producer Justice Secretary — who grew up in Buckinghamshire and was educated at the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe and Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge — 23-year-old Cisneros is a local lad. He was schooled in Ewell, and even stacked shelves in Grayling’s local Waitrose supermarket before studying law.

Cisneros is aiming to practise criminal law at the bar when ultimately called, although he appears to be under no illusions as to just how difficult that journey might be. He says the “top people” he studied with have decided they don’t want to become criminal barristers, telling his local newspaper, the Epsom Guardian, that “this is sad because the quality at the criminal bar will go down.” He goes on:

“I wanted to become a criminal barrister to help people who are at their most vulnerable. Blocking off that career to so many people will lead to its diminishment.”