Suella Braverman’s temporary absence from government due to maternity leave has seen former prisons minister Lucy Frazer return to the Attorney General’s Office, taking on the role of solicitor-general for the second time while Michael Ellis leads the department.

Lucy Frazer QC MP, justice minister

Lucy Frazer QC MP

Source: Michael Cross

Frazer’s first stint as solicitor general, in 2019, lasted 77 days before she headed to the Ministry of Justice. ‘One might have thought at the time that was a record for brevity’, commented the lord chief justice at yesterday’s swearing in ceremony. ‘It seems throughout history there have been solicitor generals who have occupied the post for a remarkably short time.’

Sir F E Smith occupied this post for five months, between June and November 2015. His successor, Sir George Cave, held the SG post for one month and two days (8 November – 10 December 2015). His predecessor, Sir F E Smith, managed five months.

But the record appears to be held by Sir John Jervis, who was solicitor general for a grand total of three days in 1846, before getting promoted to attorney general.