A straight swap with Liz Truss? Joshua Rozenberg and LBC’s Iain Dale speculate
Justice Secretary Liz Truss and Education Secretary Justine Greening may soon be swapping roles, if rumours are to be believed.
With a Theresa May win forecasted for 8 June the public is braced for a Cabinet reshuffle, and Truss’ position is surely up for debate.
Her short time in the government post has been undeniably marred by controversy, perhaps the most notable being that ‘ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE’ headline (pictured below) and her lack of response to it. Here, Truss was slammed by lawyers for failing to shield the judges involved in the Brexit litigation against the wrath of the tabloid newspapers.
More recently Truss was lambasted by the Lord Chief Justice, the head of the judiciary. He took issue with (among other things) her understanding of new rules surrounding pre-recorded evidence in rape cases and her handling of the ‘ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE’ hoo-ha. On the latter, he went as far as to describe her as “completely and utterly wrong in the view she takes.”
This criticism has led legal affairs commentator Joshua Rozenberg to predict Truss won’t last a year as Lord Chancellor — but who will replace her?
Writing in The Law Society Gazette this week, Rozenberg speculated:
For May to appoint a lawyer would be an admission that she got it wrong last year. I would therefore expect the job to go to a minister with no legal qualifications — someone like Justine Greening, for example.
If Education Secretary Greening does move to justice, her Cabinet post will lay empty, and LBC Radio’s Iain Dale thinks Truss may be the one to fill it. In his blog, he wrote:
In terms of departures from the Cabinet I’m told Sajid Javid has not impressed Number Ten and may be facing an interview without coffee. Liz Truss, according to many of her colleagues, deserves the same fate, but a move to education may be what awaits her.
So, speculation that Justine Greening will be replaced by Liz Truss, who is keener on grammar schools. Oh good grief!
— John Viner (@adept_education) June 5, 2017
If the rumours are true and Liz Truss is potentially the next Education Secretary then god help us all. How can any teacher vote Tory?????
— Sharon (@publicfeet) June 5, 2017
A combination of these rumours, and others, have led the likes of Richard Doughty, a policy and public affairs manager at the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx), to float the idea of a straight swap.
— Richard J. Doughty (@RJDoughty) June 5, 2017
But while Rozenberg’s article is vague on this point, it’s clear this isn’t what Dale is predicting. He reckons Brandon Lewis, a qualified barrister and the MP for Great Yarmouth, could be the next Justice Secretary, and that Greening will be moving to health instead.
Though social media is currently rife with rumours, it’s of course worth bearing in mind that speculation can only take you so far. Remember when the legal Twitterati spent hours last year agonising over who Justice Secretary Michael Gove’s replacement would be?
Some wondered whether it’d be Jeremy Hunt:
Please, please, PLEASE, don't let Jeremy Hunt be given the role of Justice Secretary *prays*
— Carolyn Entwistle (@Centwistle1) July 14, 2016
Others kept their fingers crossed that it wouldn’t be Chris Grayling:
Her choice for Justice Sec will be an early litmus test. If it's another Chris Grayling, we're all doomed.
— The Secret Barrister (@BarristerSecret) July 14, 2016
While many threw their weight behind Dominic Grieve:
Fingers crossed for Dominic Grieve as Lord Chancellor!
— Shoaib M Khan (@ShoaibMKhan) July 13, 2016
And then it was Truss, someone no one had really considered.
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