Nick Herbert appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Justice

4 July 2007

Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert has been appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Justice by the Conservative Party Leader, David Cameron.

Nick, who has been Shadow Minister for Police Reform since December 2005, is one of three MPs from the 2005 intake to be promoted to the Shadow Cabinet.  He will be shadowing the newly-appointed Justice Secretary, Jack Straw.

The Ministry of Justice was created in May this year in response to continuing failures at the Home Office.  It takes responsibility for prisons and probation from the Home Office and also the functions of the now defunct Department for Constitutional Affairs, including the courts, sentencing and criminal law.

At a time when the prison population of England and Wales has hit record levels and when the last week has seen more than 1,000 prisoners released early by the Government in a bid to ease prison overcrowding - including from Ford Prison in his constituency - Nick has been asked by David Cameron to make prison reform a key priority.

Nick will also focus on the agenda for constitutional change set out by Gordon Brown this week, including controversial issues such as the Human Rights Act, but also questions which the Prime Minister ducked, such as the voting rights of Scottish MPs.

Nick commented: "I enjoyed the police brief, but I feel that I have left an important contribution to the debate with my policy proposals, and it is obviously a huge honour to be asked to join the Shadow Cabinet and to take responsibility for an important new role.

"Making the criminal justice system work more effectively will be crucial to raising the quality of life for the public, and constitutional reform will be an important means of rebuilding confidence in the political process.  I am hugely looking forward to these challenges."

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