Chris Grayling

Chris Grayling and Theresa May are unlikely to row over cats and human rights at this year's Conservative party conference. Picture: Getty.

The last days of the Cameron administration part 2: Failing Grayling

12 December 2014 15:18

Of all the reasons to wish this government gone, Chris Grayling is the largest. He is shutting poor and much of the working and lower-middle class out of the justice… Continue reading


Commons uproar: European arrest warrant debate in a ‘total mess’

10 November 2014 17:22

The government is in a total mess this afternoon. The whole house of Commons has turned on Theresa May and Chris Grayling for the way they have handled the vote… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Grayling unveils Tory plan for human rights reform

3 October 2014 0:31

One of the biggest pledges of the Conservative party conference wasn’t actually made at the Tory conference. It’s being set out today by Chris Grayling and is the Tory plan… Continue reading

New data suggests that UK prisons are in crisis. (Image: BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

This government’s disastrous prisons policy is putting the public at risk

1 August 2014 12:03

Data released yesterday lays bare the true scale of the growing crisis in our prisons. Suicides up 69 per cent in a year. Self-harm up 27 per cent since 2010.… Continue reading

The Conservative Party Annual Conference

Fifty shades of Grayling

31 July 2014 13:29

With the delicacy of an Israeli F-16, the Tories entered the summer campaign today with an achingly dull speech in Westminster. Something about Labour and the unions. Mud flew everywhere.… Continue reading

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg And Justice Secretary Chris Grayling Visit Young Offenders Prison

The Coalition letter war steps up a notch

2 May 2014 8:58

Coalition relations are growing more fractious and sour. Even departments where the rapport between the Conservatives and the Lib Dems had been respectful, such as Justice, are starting to bicker… Continue reading

MP Nigel Evans Is Found Not Guilty Of Sex Offence Charges

British justice the envy of the world? Tell that to Nigel Evans

14 April 2014 11:32

I am utterly delighted that Nigel Evans has been acquitted of serious allegations of sexual assault. He is a good, kind, gentle and decent man and a very old friend.… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Books and the justice establishment

4 April 2014 8:43

Every politician who engages in major reform ends up with scars on their back. Tony Blair famously complained about those scars from grappling with the public sector, while Michael Gove… Continue reading

Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy. Would prisoners kill for her wry, pungent volumes? Image: Getty

Would prisoners kill for Carol Ann Duffy?

30 March 2014 11:34

It is of course shocking that the Justice Secretary Chris Grayling should ban prisoners from receiving books sent by their friends and relatives. We might all agree with author Philip… Continue reading

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, who is acting tough over books for prisoners. Photo: PA.

Take it from an ex-con — the outrage over prison books is misplaced

25 March 2014 19:02

When I was doing my time in HMP Standford Hill, a strange pair of heavily perfumed Korans and Bibles were delivered to one inmate, ostensibly to help him with his… Continue reading


Viviane Reding’s next trick

15 March 2014 10:29

Viviane Reding is a bit of a favourite among UK ministers. The European Commissioner for Justice has a knack of making such a good case for reform of Europe with… Continue reading


A prenup undermines a marriage before it has even begun

25 February 2014 13:00

A friend of mine, quite a distinguished lawyer, takes the view that marriage ceased to make sense after no-fault divorces came in. What, he says sternly, is the point of… Continue reading


MPs back smoking ban – but Justice Secretary opposes ‘unenforceable’ law

10 February 2014 21:35

So is the ban on smoking in cars with children, backed by MPs this evening by 376 votes to 107 against, a good idea? As James observed earlier, it is fascinating… Continue reading

A step too far for the nanny state?

Could smoking around children be made illegal in the near future?

10 February 2014 17:21

The most remarkable thing about the ban on smoking in cars when children are present, which will pass the Commons later today, is how quickly minds have changed. There’ll be… Continue reading

Soham Trial Nears Conclusion

The criminal bar is revolting

6 January 2014 10:30

Something peculiar is happening at criminal courts across England and Wales this morning. Barristers from are staging an unprecedented walk out in protest at Justice Secretary Chris Grayling’s plan to… Continue reading


Chris Grayling plays Scrooge

23 December 2013 11:01

Chris Grayling is a nasty piece of work, isn’t he? To wit: [N]ew rules, which forbid prisoners from receiving any items in the post unless there are exceptional circumstances, were… Continue reading


Dave spices up the ‘Curry Oscars’

26 November 2013 18:19

You know how it is, you pop out for curry and a pint, and you end up pledging to soften Britain’s immigration rules live in front of a global TV audience… Continue reading


Chris Grayling gets a relatively easy ride over reoffending rates

10 November 2013 12:19

Theresa May accepted her Spectator Politician of the Year award with the quip: ‘It used to be a joke that I lock them up and Ken Clarke lets them out,… Continue reading

Keir Starmer, the outgoing director of Public Prosecutions, informing us which laws he'll enforce.

We need a British Bill of Rights – so we can hear less from the likes of Keir Starmer

13 October 2013 10:32

In his five years as Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer  has shown a striking appetite for (self-) publicity and given the job a higher profile than ever. He’s just informed… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Could Britain quitting the ECHR persuade the Tories to stay in the EU?

29 September 2013 12:30

David Cameron’s willingness to talk about Britain pulling out of the European Court of Human Rights while refusing to give details of what he wants back in an EU renegotiation… Continue reading

Judges Attend The Annual Service At Westminster Abbey To Mark The Start Of The UK Legal Year

We must revisit the Equality Act to stop vexatious court cases

8 August 2013 18:04

What have the Churchill £5 note, the Home Office ‘racist vans’ and the ‘Bedroom Tax’ got in common? All were alleged breaches of section 149 of the Equality Act 2010,… Continue reading

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Tory MPs see gains on justice and home affairs opt-outs

15 July 2013 22:07

Justice and Home Affairs ministers have spent a muggy afternoon in the Commons slogging through several hours of tetchy questions from backbenchers about the government’s plan to opt out of… Continue reading


Harry Mount is wrong: Chris Grayling’s legal aid reforms will damage justice

9 June 2013 17:07

I just wonder how long Harry Mount has been waiting to put his boot into the Bar. Having a first-class degree from Oxford, membership of the Bullingdon Club and then… Continue reading

British Minister for Work and Pensions,

European Commission does eurosceptics’ dirty work, again.

9 June 2013 16:33

Defenders of the status quo in the European Union like to argue that 3 million jobs in this country currently depend on Britain’s membership. Aside from the rather shaky maths… Continue reading

David Cameron and Nick Clegg need to have a few more organised arguments in public. Picture: Getty

Ministers aren’t just preparing for Coalition divorce, they’re organising arguments with their partners too

17 May 2013 9:04

Reports today that the Conservatives are wargaming end-of-Coalition scenarios in the event of the Lib Dems leaving early won’t come as a surprise, given the bickering over the past few… Continue reading