The prime minister appears to have taken advantage of a comparative lull in politics to shuffle roles at the Ministry of Justice. Robert Buckland QC MP has been appointed as a minister of state with responsibility for prisons, replacing Rory Stewart MP. The post is number two in the justice ministerial ranks, behind that of the lord chancellor, David Gauke MP.
Buckland is replaced as solicitor general by Lucy Frazer QC MP, formerly under secretary of state for justice.
Frazer said: 'I look forward to working with the attorney general to play my part in making law and politics work together at the heart of the UK constitution. I want to thank my predecessor, Robert Buckland, for leaving me with such a strong record to build upon, especially in areas such as public legal education, and the unduly lenient sentence scheme.'
A non-lawyer, Paul Maynard MP, joins the ministry as parliamentary under secretary of state with a portfolio including court services and reform, legal aid, criminal justice and family justice.
The former political adviser and speechwriter was previously a government whip and served at the Department for Transport from July 2016 to January 2018. He was elected Conservative MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys in May 2010.
Maynard writes in his biography on his official website that 'people are the ones who really matter', and that makign connections with constituents matters is what matters in politics, 'not the shenanigans in the corridors of power'.
Discussing his constituency, he said: 'Everybody has fond memories of Blackpool, it sometimes seems, but the reality of two seaside resorts with below-average incomes, reshaping their purpose in a changing economic landscape, is that I see daily reality of those for whom life doesn't always work out as they wish it had, often through no fault of their own, and so am further inspired to keep working to change that.'
Lord Keen of Elie QC remains Ministry of Justice spokesperson in the Lords and Edward Argar MP parliamentary under secretary of state.