The axing of attorney general Dominic Grieve and police minister Damian Green in last week’s ministerial reshuffle renewed speculation that the Conservatives will go into the next general election committed to radical human rights reform.
Along with former justice secretary Kenneth Clarke, also gone, the duo were viewed at Westminster as significant obstacles to a policy of repealing the Human Rights Act, or even leaving the European Convention on Human Rights.
Justice secretary Chris Grayling told last year’s Tory conference that he would publish a policy document and then a draft bill on scrapping the act and withdrawal from the ECHR.
Little has been heard since.
However, that speculation gained traction as the Gazette went to press, with reports that a group of Conservative lawyers has been advising David Cameron on ways to limit the power of the European Court of Human Rights, and that these proposals will be centre stage in the prime minister’s autumn party conference speech.
The new AG is barrister Jeremy Wright MP, 41, who was called to the Inner Temple in 1996 and practised criminal law. He has been an MP since 2005, currently for Kenilworth and Southam in the West Midlands.
Wright was appointed a junior justice minister in 2012, responsible for prisons and rehabilitation.