One Tory newbie politico-barrister standing in Hampshire, and our old friend — the former telly producer turned Justice Secretary — come in for some stick
The general election remains far to close to call in terms of a result, and probably will until polling day — but lawyers can satisfy political entertainment needs in the meantime by observing the tribulations of their colleagues on the campaign trail.
First in the spotlight is administrative and planning law specialist barrister Suella Fernandes.
The 10-year-call tenant at the London branch of Birmingham’s No5 Chambers is aiming to nail down the safe Conservative seat of Fareham in Hampshire, where she’s defending a majority of about 17,000 picked up last time round by Mark Hoban.
But not all the locals appear to be that keen on Fernandes or her profession, as this picture published last week in the Portsmouth News suggests.
Local council leader Sean Woodward, leapt to the barrister’s defence, telling the newspaper:
“It’s criminal damage and it is not in line with democracy. People have the right to display election posters on their land and this is criminal damage and apart from that it is wrong in every way.”
Meanwhile, legal aid lawyers must nursing a bad case of cramp, having kept their fingers crossed for so long in the hope that the last government’s Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor will not be returning to his ministerial seat — even if the Tories do crawl over the Downing Street finishing line.
The Justice Alliance — which has organised countless events and demonstrations in protest at Chris Grayling’s legal aid reforms — is holding a farewell party for the reviled Justice Secretary some 48 hours before the nation schleps to the polls.
There is little chance that Grayling will lose his seat — the former television producer is defending a majority over the Liberal Democrats of more than 16,100 in the Surrey stockbroker belt seat of Epsom and Ewell.
But if the Tories manage to scrape together a government in the next few weeks, he could be in line for another ministry … or even the backbenches.