Cabinet reshuffle: Michael Gove is about to become even more unpopular as he is put in charge of wielding the axe on the justice system

Controversial figure was removed as Education Secretary after unpopular reforms and he is likely to become just as unpopular with judges as Justice Secretary

Matt Dathan
Sunday 10 May 2015 11:42 BST
Michael Gove
Michael Gove

Now the election is over and David Cameron no longer needs to appeal to voters, he has appointed the controversial figure of Michael Gove as Justice Secretary to oversee wide-ranging reforms and cuts.

He was demoted as Education Secretary last year and appointed the back-room role of chief whip in a bid to cool relations with teachers in the run up to the election after his wide-ranging and unpopular reforms to schools.

Mr Gove is likely to antagonise judges, prison officers and prosecutors in the same way as he did teachers as he has been put in charge of wielding the axe over widespread cuts to the justice system, including a courts system that is one of the most expensive in Europe.

Nicky Morgan was put in charge of Education in the run up to the election to calm relations with teachers

Another controversial reform that is likely to provoke judges is the Conservative pledge to scrap the Human Rights Act - introduced by Labour after Tony Blair's landslide in 1997 - and replace it with a British Bill of Rights.

Mr Cameron has announced the move will be in the new Government's Queen's Speech on May 27 and is designed to prevent the European Court of Human Rights being able to overrule British courts over issues such as prisoner rights.

Mr Gove replaces Chris Grayling, who has been made Leader of the House of Commons - a position vacated by outgoing William Hague.

Nicky Morgan, who replaced Mr Gove as Education Secretary last summer, remains in her job - she is seen as less controversial and will oversee the expansion in the number of academies and free schools.

Ms Morgan will also stay as Minister for Equalities. Meanwhile Mark Harper, who was forced to resign as Immigration Minister after it emerged he was employing an illegal migrant as a cleaner, is expected to be appointed as the Government's Chief Whip.

The Cabinet reshuffle is expected to be completed tomorrow.

The Prime Minister has 24 more positions to fill now that the Liberal Democrats are no longer in Government, including five Cabinet positions vacated by former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, former Business Secretary Vince Cable, Ed Davey who served as Energy and Climate Change Secretary, the former Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael and Danny Alexander, who served as George Osborne's Chief Secretary of the Treasury.

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