Chris Grayling lost another vote over Judicial Review reforms and in the process was forced to admit that he mislead the House of Commons during a debate.
This is the latest embarrassing defeat for Mr Grayling and will no doubt build further pressure on his future in the role, especially as it would appear that the Lords are leaning towards having a Lord Chancellor with a legal background.
The rebellion against the government’s suggested reforms was led by crossbencher, Lord Pannick, who managed to persuade enough Conservative and Liberal Democrat peers to turn on their own government on the issue of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill.
It emerged that earlier last week that the now aptly known ‘Failing Grayling’ had given wrong information during the course of the discussions in the House of Commons when previously discussing his plans.
The controversy came as he ‘inadvertently’ informed the Conservative MP, Geoffrey Cox, that clause 64 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill contained a provision for the court to grant permission for JR where conduct was highly likely to have not made a difference in exceptional circumstances.
He was then forced to backtrack and admitted that no such provision existed in the clause in what many will see as the latest in a long line of embarrassing blunders from the justice secretary.
Questions have to be raised once more over Chris Grayling’s suitability for the role of the Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary as he has again exposed of being either completely untrustworthy in the way he goes about enforcing his proposals or clueless to what the rules and regulations stand for.
Other such blunders include being described as unlawful in his pursuit of removing recoverability for Mesothelioma sufferers, which led to a defeat in the High Court and his original defeat of Judicial Reforms.
It has been a hot topic of debate over whether he, as someone with no legal background, is the right person to assume the position of Lord Chancellor and instances like this will certainly stack in the favour of a future removal and the employment of a legal based successor.
His Peers are now calling for the amendment discussion to go back to the House of Commons for debate due to it being originally passed through on fabricated information by the Justice Secretary.
Lord Pannick agreed with this, saying: “The Lord Chancellor misled the other place on the very issue that is at the heart of this amendment. He wrongly suggested that there is an exceptional circumstance provision in this clause which confers discretion on the judge.”
“That alone is reason enough for this house to invite the other place to think again, and to do so on the basis of an accurate statement by the responsible government minister as to the terms and effect of the clause that he was putting before the House of Commons.”
With pressure mounting on Chris Grayling, surely this latest blunder can’t go amiss and soon enough will surely be enough for ‘Failing Grayling’ and his ridiculous proposals for reform.