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Just five candidates are believed to have applied to take Dame Barbara Mills' place as Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). Of the two interviewed earlier this month, both are believed to have been rejected.
Applicants for the £100,000-a-year post are understood to have included Peter Ross, head of the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors and Gordon Etherington, Chief Prosecutor for London. Both declined to comment.
Maverick former crown prosecutor Neil Addison - who in 1995 wrote an article in Counsel magazine entitled 'What's wrong with the CPS?' - also applied, but was not interviewed.
The CPS continues to suffer from poor morale and a lack of public confidence. But Addison thinks the post is a good opportunity. "The CPS needs a fresh start, with someone who can communicate with staff and with the public," he said.
But it seems the vacancy has failed to attract the cream of the profession. Addison added: "There should have been 20 good candidates. What sort of applicants are we going to get for the 42 new chief prosecutors' posts?"