Djanogly out as MoJ faces sweeping reshuffle

Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly has returned to the back benches after losing his role as justice minister to lawyers Jeremy Wright and Helen Grant following yesterday’s cabinet reshuffle.

The announcement came shortly after employment minister Chris Grayling, a non-lawyer and former TV producer at BBC News, replaced Ken Clarke as Justice Secretary (4 September 2012). The reshuffle also saw British barrister and Conservative politician Oliver Heald replace Edward Garnier QC as new solicitor general.

Maidstone and Weald Conservative MP Helen Grant will join the Justice department as junior justice minister alongside Kenilworth and Southam Conservative MP Jeremy Wright. Wright was called to the Bar in 1996 and specialises in criminal law, both prosecution and defence, in the West Midlands area. Although both have been appointed to the MoJ, Grant will have the additional responsiblity for women’s and equality issues.

Grant, who set up specialist family law firm Grants Solicitors in 1996, was a member of the Labour Party before leaving to become the first black female to defend a Tory seat in 2006.

Djanogly, known for piloting controversial plans to cut legal aid and curb payouts, returns to the back benches along with prisons minister Crispin Blunt, the Conservative MP who made squatting a criminal offence on Saturday.

Police commissioner Nick Herbert MP also quit the department yesterday, tweeting: “Decided to step down from Govt. Honoured to have worked with police & driven big reforms. Will focus on new ideas & protecting countryside.”

It is believed that he is going to be replaced by Damian Green MPt, who is moving from immigration.