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Barristers anger at Justice Sec’s selfie with roller-skating Xmas pud

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Dominic Raab’s decision to send pre-recorded bar conference message (rather than attending in-person) has apparently not gone down well with lawyers

Dominic Raab via Twitter

The Justice Secretary has angered barristers after he opted not to deliver a speech in-person at the annual bar conference at the weekend, choosing instead to open a Christmas festival in his constituency and take a selfie with a giant roller-skating Christmas pudding and bauble.

Dominic Raab MP, who became Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary two months ago, sent a short pre-recorded video message to delegates at Saturday’s conference in London instead.

He later tweeted a selfie in his constituency of Esher and Walton next to two women on roller skates — one dressed as a Christmas pudding and the other as a bauble.

“Great to open the Christmas festival in Walton today — wonderful to see the community out enjoying the festive fun, including the roller-skating Christmas pudding!” he wrote.

Raab’s photo-op didn’t go down too well with barristers on Twitter, it seems. Tomas McGarvey of 2 Bedford Row described Raab’s no-show as a “dereliction of duty”.

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McGarvey tweeted: “The Lord Chancellor, responsible for the efficient functioning and independence of the courts, chose not to address the Bar Council’s conference in-person because he was *check notes* in Walton at a Christmas festival. A dereliction of duty?”

Raab’s opposite number, the Shadow Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary David Lammy MP, said: “This morning I chose to spend my time with our country’s barristers at their first physical conference in two years. Dominic Raab was invited but instead [chose] to spend it with a [woman] dressed as a Christmas pudding.”

Nor did his video message seem to go down a treat as Kirsty Brimelow QC of Doughty Street Chambers said it was “met with absolute silence in the room” and “not even a polite handclap”. She added that “it is well known that he [Raab] continues not to meet leadership of the Criminal Bar Association or the Bar Council”.

Bar Council chair Derek Sweeting QC reportedly told the conference that he has not met Raab since he was appointed Justice Sec in September. “I very much hope, some two months after he was sworn in, his diary commitments will allow us to meet,” he said.

The Ministry of Justice said that Raab “was unable to make the event but has engaged with the sector and will continue to do so”.

Raab, a former Linklaters lawyer, was demoted as Foreign Secretary and took over as Justice Secretary from barrister Robert Buckland MP in September. He came under fire over his handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

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12 Comments

Anonymous

I wouldn’t have turned up if I knew Lammy was there

Won’t Somebody Please Think Of The Barristers??

But we’re barristers!! How else are we going to feel important and special unless an elected politician drops everything and gives all his attention to us in a room???

How DARE he go to his constituency. How very DARE he choose to meet with the lower orders instead of us!!!

Sigma male

Why are barristers always so opinionated on social media? Surely it isn’t good for their reputations?

The QC’s Only Fans Account

They gain narcissistic supply from all the ‘likes’ and followers/mere screen pixels.

It’s far easier to try to be a ‘popular funny person’ on Twitter than it is to be liked and valued in real life.

Sigma male

If I wanted to hear some strong opinions on a subject I’d go to a cockney cab driver, not some smug lawyer on Twatter!

Anon

#firstworldproblems

All solicitors

Classic barristers full of their own self-importance. No-one cares what you think. And stop listing your Oxbridge college prizes on you profiles; it looks pathetic.

Mwah

How many prizes did you win in your time at Oxbridge, darling?

Anon

The Bar is the most extraordinarily self-important profession I have ever had the misfortune of working with, and have an incredibly overinflated sense of their own value to society. The sneering at people in a suburban part of England enjoying Christmas is utterly repellent, as is the attitude that an elected politician is somehow obliged to spend significant amounts of time kowtowing to a bunch of antediluvian periwig-wearing arseholes, rather than working with his constituents. Good on Raab for shunning them, and I look forward to the eventual demise of the split profession in English law.

Shucks

So you didn’t get pupillage then?

Anonymous

I can’t for the life of me understand the other comments on this article.

The man’s the Secretary of State for Justice, of course lawyers are going to be annoyed if he fails to engage with one of their major representative bodies.

Anon

Let’s face it, he probably hates the fact he’s been demoted from Foreign Secretary. If you had a diary full of meetings with international politicians and diplomats, sorting out matters of life, death and war, would you want to meet with some jumped up little toad at the association of very important barristers.

No, nor would I. And I don’t blame him.

Yours, a lifelong Labour voter.

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