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Law Society: Lawyers could face physical attacks following Home Secretary speech

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Priti Patel lashed out at ‘lefty lawyers’ and ‘do-gooders’ during conference address

Priti Patel

Lawyers are at risk of verbal abuse and physical attacks, the Law Society has claimed, following the Home Secretary’s comments about “lefty lawyers” and “do-gooders”.

The Home Office’s Priti Patel lashed out at “the traffickers, the do-gooders, the lefty lawyers, the Labour Party” who are “defending the broken system”, in a divisive speech during the Conservatives’ virtual party conference on Sunday.

During her address, she promised to deliver the “biggest overhaul of our asylum system in decades”, and will bring forward legislation next year to make the system “fairer and firmer” by stopping “endless legal claims” from people who are refused asylum.

“The fact that a lawyer represents an asylum seeker does not make them a ‘lefty lawyer’”, Law Society president Simon Davis said in a statement yesterday. “It simply makes them a lawyer. Attacks on members of the legal profession for doing their jobs do our country no credit.”

Davis continued:

“Slinging insults at lawyers undermines the rule of law in an area where views are already hotly held on all sides and risks leading to verbal abuse and to lawyers being physically attacked for doing their job.”

Patel also said she recognised that the plans would provoke criticism and controversy, saying: “No doubt those who are well-rehearsed in how to play and profit from the broken system will lecture us on their grand theories about human rights.”

But she made clear her commitment to the reforms, adding: “If at times it means being unpopular on Twitter. I will bear it.”

Patel’s speech did provoke the legal Twitterati, with The Secret Barrister briefly changing their Twitter handle to “The Secret Do-Gooder”.

The latest comments from across Legal Cheek

The Law Society previously condemned the Home Office’s attack on “activist lawyers” accused of frustrating the return of migrants to their home countries. The tweet was later taken down.

Amanda Pinto QC, chair of the Bar Council, added: “Attempting to paint lawyers with the ‘lefty’ brush seeks to demonise the very people helping constituents every day, without agenda, simply because they provide a vital public service. Lawyers carry out their duty and apply the law, irrespective of political persuasion, in accordance with our professional standards.”

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17 Comments

Lefty Lawyer

Ooh no. Not verbal abuse…😱

I’m quaking in my little boots

Anon

However will they cope 😂😂

The Maverick

I can’t believe she’s forgotten her own roots, the indoctrination from the Conservative party has changed her permanently.

Jezzmentum

Who the hell cares what Pritty Nasty has to say?

Anon

Wow, an ignorant politician. Never seen one of those before.

Can we put her on an island?

Three hundred thousand, and thirty four, nine hundred and seventy four thousand times sure I’d take being a “lefty” lawyer over being a smug, incompetent, hypocritical ars*hole with a flagrant disregard for the rule of law and basic human compassion.

Simon from Accounts

300,034 in addition to 974,000 or as an alternative? Please clarify

Gauss

100% sure you wouldn’t be allowed to undertake work as a tax advisor with dodgy numerical expression skills like that.

Realist

It is sad to see ethnic minorities losing their cultural heritage and roots just to further a decisive ideological vision that is insular and xenophobic.

Alan Robertshaw

Whilst I don’t think children of migrants should be held to a higher standard than anyone else (basic compassion should be the default standard for everybody) there is something ironic in her reported plans to relocate refugees to the South Atlantic.

When Idi Amin expelled the Ugandan Asian population, the British government of the day looked all around the commonwealth for somewhere to place them rather than the UK. Only the Falkland Islands responded positively. They said they would take doctors, nurses, farm labourers, and domestic servants.

One might have thought we’d got beyond valuing people only by their utility; but there we are I guess.

Anonymous

She is talking sense. Anything that upsets criminal defence lawyers or immigration lawyers is good in my book.

Bazman

Patel is scum but “physical attacks” is snowflake hyperbole from the Law Society.

Anonymous

The Bar Council would have moaned about “physical attacks” and then added on a diversity argument or three.

Chancery barrister

But there have always been, and still are, sets that are quite loud about their left leaning ways. Just click on individual profiles and ideology drips off the page. Garden Court is the most obvious example but loads like them

Muckle Nuisance

She’s on record as being pro-hanging.

Perhaps we should have a referendum on hanging so we the British people can tell her how wrong she is about it.

John Smith

She’s absolutely correct. Lawyers are out of touch with the real world and line their own pockets at the publics expense. GBP 350++ an hour???? Who else earns that!

Work on these cases

All lawyers working on asylum cases get paid by legal aid or do the work for free (pro-Bono).

In neither case is anyone charging 350 an hour for their efforts.

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