Liz Truss camp hits back at ‘sexist dinosaurs’ over Justice Secretary criticism

Posted On: 
24th July 2016

Liz Truss has branded two peers “dusty old relics” after they hit out at her recent appointment as Justice Secretary.

Justice Secretary Liz Truss
PA Images

Lord Faulks resigned his post at the Ministry of Justice after Theresa May gave her the job, warning that Ms Truss’s lack of legal experience meant her appointment could be “damaging to the justice system”.

Labour peer Lord Falconer described Ms Truss as an “ambitious middle-ranking Cabinet minister whose main ambition is to go further up the greasy pole, with no known signs of independence”.

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A source close to Ms Truss said: “Lord Falconer’s comments show him as nothing more than a sexist old man.

"These dinosaurs need to roll with the modern world a bit. Lord Faulks’s parting shot was also unnecessary.”

Lord Falconer, who until recently served as shadow justice secretary, denied he was “sexist”, pointing out that he also attacked Chris Grayling when he was given the job in the last parliament.

It comes after senior lawyers in the House of Lords this week hit back at criticism of Ms Truss. 

Neither of Ms Truss’s most recent predecessors as Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor, Michael Gove and Mr Grayling, had a legal background.

Labour peer Baroness Kennedy, herself a leading human rights lawyer, suggested yesterday that some of the attacks were prompted by the fact she was a woman.

“Were the men of law as vociferous when Mr Grayling or Mr Gove took up their appointments and did they make the same complaints when it was a man in that role?” she asked.  

“We should look at whether we are seeing something inappropriate about a woman taking this role. I regret that we have heard a clamour of male lawyers and judges saying that this is not a suitable appointment when they made no such complaints when men were put into that role.”

Lord Lester of Herne Hill, a Liberal Democrat, argued that Ms Truss “should in fairness be given time to be judged by her actions in office”.