Thursday, 13 February 2020

Kenton's Sue Ellen appointed chief legal adviser to the Tory Government



Following Boris Johnson's appointment of Suella Braverman (nee Fernandes) as attorney general (shortly after she attacked judges as unelected and unaccountable) it is interesting to hear from someone who was at school with her in the 1990s:

Sue Ellen Fernandes (who prefers to be known as Suella, so as not to be compared to a character in the 1980's TV series "Dallas") grew up in Kenton.

Her mother was a Conservative councillor on Brent Council, Uma Fernandes (who, as a candidate for Parliament, managed third place in the Brent East by-election won by Sarah Teather in 2003).

By the sixth form at school, Suella was open about her ambition to be a Conservative M.P., and to become Prime Minister, like her idol, Margaret Thatcher.

She studied law at Cambridge, and went on to become a barrister, specialising in planning law, but also spending time trying to get selected as a Conservative Parliamentary candidate.

One of the roles that helped on her Tory CV was acting as Chair of Governors for Katherine Birbalsingh's Michaela Community School LINK, although her knowledge of planning law did not seem to cover the fact that consent was needed to display a large advertisement over its building in Wembley Park LINK:

The advert had to be taken down after a few days - a waste of taxpayers money that could have been avoided!

Suella was elected for the "safe" Conservative seat of Fareham in Hampshire in 2015. Now, at the age of 39, this "aspirational" junior barrister has been appointed by Boris Johnson as the Government's top legal adviser.

Heaven help us!

4 comments:

  1. From the GOV.UK website this evening:

    Biography
    Suella Braverman was appointed Attorney General on 13 February 2020.

    She was previously Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union from January to November 2018.

    Suella was elected as the Conservative MP for Fareham in May 2015.

    Education
    Suella was educated at Heathfield School in London and went on to study Law at Queens’ College, Cambridge. She gained a Masters in Law from the University of Paris 1, Pantheon-Sorbonne and qualified as a New York Attorney. She speaks fluent French.

    Career
    Suella was called to the Bar in England in 2005 and practised as a self-employed Barrister for 10 years, specialising in Public Law and Judicial Review in Town and Country Planning, Housing and Licensing. Between 2010-2015 she was on the Attorney-General’s Panel of Treasury Counsel.

    Suella co-founded a free school, Michaela Community School, in 2014 in Wembley and was Chairman of Governors until October 2017. The school was rated Outstanding by OFSTED in May 2017.

    She was elected Member of Parliament for Fareham in 2015. From June 2015 until May 2017 she served on the Education Select Committee.

    Personal life
    Suella is married, enjoys watching films at the cinema, cooking and spending time with her friends and family. She has back-packed around Australia, India, parts of Africa, China and the Far East.

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  2. Also on the GOV.UK website:

    ATTORNEY GENERAL -

    The Attorney General is chief legal adviser to the Crown and has a number of independent public interest functions, as well as overseeing the Law Officers’ departments. These are:

    the Crown Prosecution Service;
    the Serious Fraud Office;
    Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate;
    the Government Legal Department.

    Other responsibilities include:

    acting as principal legal adviser on questions of EU and international law, human rights and devolution issues;
    referring unduly lenient sentences to the Court of Appeal;
    bringing proceedings for contempt of court;
    intervening in certain proceedings to protect charities;
    dealing with questions of law arising on government Bills;
    legal aspects of all major international and domestic litigation involving the government.

    The Attorney General also holds the separate office of Advocate General for Northern Ireland. The Advocate General for Scotland has specific responsibility for Scottish law matters.

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  3. Well done Suella to get so far so young. If consent for planning is the worst thing she can not be as bad as all the rest.

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    Replies
    1. I can admire the determination that has got her so far so young, but has she really got the experience and legal knowledge to deal with the huge questions her new role will throw up?

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