Confirmed: Gay judge appointed as Master of the Rolls

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By Katie King on

History made as Sir Terence Etherton bags Lord Denning’s old job title


After weeks of rumours and speculation, it’s finally been confirmed: Sir Terence Etherton will be the next Master of the Rolls.

Downing Street has announced today that Etherton, who is currently the head of the Chancery Division, will fill the shoes once worn by law student favourite Lord Denning. He will be the first ever openly gay man to hold the title.

Rumours have been flying around legal London about who would succeed Lord Dyson, the current Master of the Rolls, ever since he stepped down from the position in February. Etherton was a clear frontrunner from the start, and tongues were really set wagging earlier this month when leading legal commentator Joshua Rozenberg tweeted that there were “strong rumours” that the University of Cambridge-educated judge’s appointment was in the pipeline.

But now we have official word from the government that Etherton, a former member of the British Olympic fencing team who, according to reports, turned down competing in the 1980 Olympics due to an international boycott as a result of the Russian invasion of Afghanistan the previous year, will be Masters of the Rolls, the second most senior judge in England and Wales, and will be on a salary of about £220,000.

The appointment will take effect from 3 October.