HC Deb 24 June 1999 vol 333 cc448-9W
Mr. Dismore

To ask the Attorney-General what(a) representations he made, (b) correspondence he had and (c) meetings he held about (i) the creation of the vacancy for Treasury Counsel (Common Law) in May 1997 and (ii) the filling of the vacancy. [88016]

The Attorney-General

Soon after I was appointed Attorney-General in May 1997, I became aware of the fact that I would need to appoint a new First Treasury Counsel (Common Law) relatively soon as, although it was a matter for the Lord Chancellor, I believed that the then incumbent might be appointed as a High Court judge shortly. The then Solicitor-General and I consulted widely, in meetings between May and November 1997, with members of the senior judiciary, the Treasury Solicitor's Department and others who could assist us in reaching a view as to who should be appointed as the next First Treasury Counsel (Common Law). I appointed Philip Sales after a meeting with him on 17 November 1997.

My Department had correspondence with the Treasury Solicitor's Department on the subject and latterly with the Lord Chancellor's Department so that the announcement of the judicial appointment could be synchronised with the announcement of Mr. Sales' appointment.