Justice: Suede shoes get day off as Clarke becomes new Lord Chancellor

Dressed in full ceremonial robes, Kenneth Clarke was welcomed by the country's judiciary yesterday as the latest Lord Chancellor of Great Britain.

In full wig and resplendent in black and gold attire – but without his customary suede shoes – the Secretary of State for Justice was sworn in to an office which has its origins as far back as the Norman Conquest.

Following in the footsteps of an illustrious roll call including Sir Thomas More, Lord Hailsham and most recently Jack Straw, Mr Clarke took his oath in a packed courtroom at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

At the same ceremony MPs Dominic Grieve QC and Edward Garnier QC were sworn in as Attorney General and Solicitor General respectively.

They were welcomed in their new roles by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, who extended the good wishes of the judiciary to the new office holders.

Mr Clarke, a lawyer himself, said he was "honoured" to become Lord Chancellor.

He said: "I do hold the rule of law in very high regard. I do have very strong views about the independence of the judiciary, the independence of the legal profession."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Attorney General fulfils the role of chief legal adviser to the Government.

Mr Clarke, 69, was elected MP for Rushcliffe in 1970. Prior to being appointed Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice he was Shadow Secretary of State for Business. His experience in government spans three decades and he has previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Home Secretary.

Mr Clarke was educated at Nottingham High School and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.

Related topics: