Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Lord Campbell rejects claim ‘very fine people in the frame’ for Lord Keen’s job

Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack.
Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack.

Alister Jack has claimed “a number of people” are in the running to replace Lord Keen, amid rumours the Tories are struggling to find a Scottish candidate.

Lord Keen quit as advocate general for Scotland on Wednesday over new post-Brexit legislation ministers admit would break international law.

In his resignation letter, the peer told Boris Johnson he had found it “increasingly difficult” to reconcile his obligations as a law officer with the proposals in the Internal Market Bill.

He added: “Your government faces challenges on a number of fronts and I fear that the Bill in its present form will not make these any easier.”

Lord Keen.

There have been claims that the government may struggle to find anyone willing to replace him.

But the Scottish secretary said he believed a “number of people” were in the frame.

Mr Jack, appearing before the Scottish Affairs Committee, said: “I’m very, very sorry that we’ve lost (Lord Keen), I’ve no doubt that he will be replaced by someone also very competent.

“There are a number of people who have made clear that they are interested in taking the role on. There are some very fine people in the frame.”

Former Liberal Democrat leader Ming Campbell laughed at Mr Jack’c claim, saying the government would “struggle” to find anyone.

Lord Campbell.

The lawyer and former North East Fife MP said: “Richard Keen did the honourable thing, he seemed uncomfortable at the despatch box in the House of Lords.

“His departure strikes a crippling blow at the credibility of the government in general and at prime minister in particular.

“The reaction to this Bill among the 27 members of the European Union makes it perfectly clear that this proposed legislation has been deeply damaging to Britain’s interests and the prospect of obtaining a satisfactory agreement.”

What an irony it would be if Mr Mundell was appointed.”

Lord Campbell

Lord Campbell said there was “no obvious candidate” to replace Lord Keen and speculated that the Tories “might be forced to elevate someone to the Lords” to take over.

The only Scots Tory in the Commons with a legal background is former Scottish secretary David Mundell.

David Mundell.

“What an irony it would be if Mr Mundell was appointed,” Lord Campbell said.

“Sacked by Johnson and now he could be asked to save him.”

In an editorial published this week, the Scottish Legal News website said anyone defending the Bill was endorsing “reckless and lawless behaviour that will tarnish Britain’s reputation and ultimately that of those associated with it”.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

More from The Courier UK politics team

More from The Courier