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‘Cruella de Vil QC’ hits back at Boris Johnson after PM takes pop in conference speech

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Prime Minister’s ‘frivolous speech’ ignored ‘serious issues’ in justice system, says blogging barrister Matthew Scott

A barrister apparently branded “Cruella de Vil QC” by Boris Johnson today has hit back at the Prime Minister’s “frivolous” comments.

Johnson used his party conference speech to defend a proposed new criminal offence of pet abduction. The PM told Conservative Party members, to laughter and applause:

“I read a learned article by some lawyer saying we should not bother about pet theft. Well I say to Cruella de Vil QC, if you can steal a dog or a cat, then there is frankly no limit to your depravity.”

Renowned legal blogger Matthew Scott, who recently called the proposed dognapping offence “pointless” in Johnson’s favoured Daily Telegraph, promptly changed his Twitter handle.

But he told Legal Cheek, on a more serious note, that Johnson should spend more time on his job and less on jokes:

“Instead of wasting the time of MPs and Parliamentary lawyers drafting laws to criminalise activities that are already criminal and which will have almost no practical effect, Mr Johnson should address the shortage of judges, the catastrophic collapse in the number of solicitors’ firms specialising in criminal law, the pressures on police which lead to serious cases not being properly investigated and the continuing growth in the backlog of cases in the Crown Court.

“Nothing in his frivolous speech today even acknowledged the existence of these serious issues”, Scott added.

Johnson also infuriated the legal professions by claiming that Labour was “led by lefty Islington lawyers” and that men are “using the law’s delay to get away with violence against women”.

In an interview earlier this week, Johnson criticised the “slowness” and “inadequacy” of the criminal justice system in dealing with sexual violence. (What outgoing Justice Secretary Robert Buckland last month called “years of underfunding” might just have something to do with that.)

Johnson clearly sees lawyer-baiting as a crowd-pleaser. In his 2020 conference speech, the PM also hit out at “lefty human rights lawyers”.

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15 Comments

Where’s The Lie???

But Labour really is essentially led by lefty Islington lawyers????

Cathryn

Not at all. Keir lives in Camden.

Old Guy

And the only other high profile lawyer for Labour I can think of, Lammy, is MP for Tottenham in Harringey. Who is there that fits the lefty Islington Lawyer stereotype?

You Think Only MPs Have Power??

The Society of Labour Lawyers is a huge pocket of power within the Labour Party – far more so than any members living on council estates.

Old Guy

I am a member of said organisation. I do not live in Islington although I live in North London. I do not know anyone in that group that lives in Islington although some did as young solicitors when starting careers in the City. The point is not about lawyers, the point was about lefty Islington lawyers. Many of these lawyers live in South London, Surrey, Hertfordshire and Essex (of those in the South East of course). Many live in East London. Stereotyping the Labour party because Tony Blair lived in Islington is stupid and lazy.

Anonymous

And I guess you live in Islington.

Jim

And Boris Johnson used to live in Islington with his previous wife – who was a lawyer.

Anonymous

CJ McKinney has completely misrepresented what the PM said. This is what he said:

“What I find most incredible of all is the decision of Labour, now left by lefy Islington lawyers to vote against tougher sentences for serious sexual and violent offenders. And on behalf of the entire government, I tell you this: ‘ we will not rest until we have increased the successful prosecutions for rape, because too many lying, bullying, cowardly men are using the law’s delay to get away with violence against women and we cannot and will not stand for it.”

In other words, the “cowardly men…using the law’s delay” are not lawyers but perpetrators of violence against women.

Amazing what one can discover by actually listening to/reading the speech.

Hmmmm

There are plenty of lawyers that have committed violence, emotional abuse and stalking against women.

Anonymous

Of course there are. What relevance does that have to whether Boris Johnson was calling lawyers “cowardly men who use the law’s delay to get away with violence against women”, as CJ McKinney alleges he was?

This is just lawyers trying to get in on a victimhood culture. Their persecution complex just makes them feel embattled, bold and brave. It is quite feeble really.

Squiffy

Liebour wouldn’t know the truth if it lived in their bedrooms

Paul

Boris really is a nasty piece of work. Those who vote for him are not much better.

Cessle

If you want a really nasty piece of work, you need not look beyond Angela Rayner.

Squiffy

The day I care what a Lawyer says, will be the day Unicorns are discovered

Krill

Particularly SJW ones, with their brutal sense of self importance, titanium steel belief in the rightness of their own opinions and boorish determination to share them with everyone even when not asked.

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