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By Bishop of Leeds
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Robert Buckland “Shabbily Treated” By Boris Johnson Says Senior Tory After Being Replaced By Dominic Raab As Justice Secretary

Robert Buckland has confirmed he has left his role as Justice Secretary (Alamy)

3 min read

A senior Conservative MP says Robert Buckland has been “shabbily treated” by Boris Johnson after he was sacked as justice secretary in today’s Cabinet reshuffle.

Downing Street confirmed the 52-year-old Welshamn had left government to be replaced by former foreign secretary Dominic Raab this afternoon.

But Bob Neill, chair of the justice select committee, said he was "surprised and disappointed” by the decision, telling PoliticsHome: “I can see no good reason for it at all.

“He was doing a good job as Justice Secretary and, crucially, understood the constitutional importance of the Lord Chancellor as a guardian of the justice system.

“And he was entirely loyal to the Prime Minister. I think he has been shabbily treated.”

Buckland, who also served as the Lord Chancellor, had been in the role since July 2019 when Boris Johnson took office.

The former barrister, who has been the MP for South Swindon since 2010, is a casualty of Johnson’s attempt to freshen up his top team and - in the words of Number 10 - “Build Back Better from the pandemic”.

He tweeted: "It has been an honour to serve in government for the last seven years, and as the Lord Chancellor for the last two.

"I am deeply proud of everything I have achieved. On to the next adventure."

In response Labour's Harriet Harman tweeted: "Thank you Robert Buckland for the important changes you made on domestic violence and sex violence against women."

Her colleague Jess Phillips added: "Got to say this is a fair comment. The pace and depth I could critique but no doubt Buckland cared and wanted to see changes that worked."

Downing Street confirmed this lunchtime a reshuffle would be taking place after weeks of fevered speculation, telling the media: “The PM will be appointing ministers this afternoon with a focus on uniting and levelling up the whole country.”

Buckland was the solicitor general for five years from 2014 under both David Cameron and Theresa May, before a brief stint as prisons minister before being promoted to the Cabinet as Justice Secretary two years ago.

His statement followed the news that Gavin Williamson had been sacked as Education Secretary.

Shortly afterwards the communities secretary Robert Jenrick announced he was also leaving his ministerial role today.

The 39-year-old MP for Newark, the first Millennial ever appointed to the Cabinet, appeared to confirm he was returning to the backbenches with a post on social media.

He tweeted: “It’s been a huge privilege to serve as Secretary of State For Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Thank you to everyone at the department for their hard work, dedication and friendship. I’m deeply proud of all we achieved.

“I will continue to support the Prime Minister and the Government in every way I can.”

Jenrick, who was first elected in a 2014 by-election, had been embroiled in a row over the unlawful approval of the £1billion Westferry housing project last year.

But Johnson had stuck by him despite calls for his sacking, after details of his contact with the developer Richard Desmond, a Conservative Party donor, came to light.


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