Baroness Scotland QC appointed attorney general

Former House of Commons leader Jack Straw is to take over as the secretary of state for justice as the new prime minister Gordon Brown shuffles the former lord chancellor Lord Falconer out of his first cabinet.

Meanwhile, the former minister of state for crime reduction Baroness Scotland QC has been made attorney general, replacing Lord Goldsmith QC who announced on 23 June that he would quit as attorney general once Brown took over as Prime Minister.

Scotland, a Labour peer, was a founder member and former head of chambers of 1 Gray’s Inn Square.

Straw, who led Brown’s campaign for the Labour leadership, is being handed the reins at a time of flux for the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) – a department that was created just over a month ago (9 May).

The MoJ is understood to still be in negotiations with the judiciary to strike a deal to safeguard judges’ independence from the new ministry, which oversees the management of the whole criminal justice system.

Also with minister for justice Harriet Harman, now the deputy leader of the Labour party, expected to take Straw’s former position of Commons leader, a shake-up of the whole ministry is on the cards.