May 12, 2010: Ken Clarke is the new Justice Secretary
"I am honoured and excited to have been appointed Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State. Our work together will be central to the Government's success in serving the public and the ambition must be to exceed what the public expect of the services we provide."
Kenneth Clarke QC was elected MP for Rushcliffe in 1970. Prior to being appointed Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice he was Shadow Secretary of State for Business.
He has extensive experience in government, spanning three decades and has previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Home Secretary.
He was a minister in the Heath's government, in 1972, and also served as a minister in both the Thatcher and Major governments. He was educated at Nottingham High School and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. He is a barrister-at-law and became a QC in 1980.
The Ministry of Justice is one of the largest government departments, with around 95,000 people (including probation services) and a budget of £9.2 billion. Every year around nine million people use their services in 900 locations across the United Kingdom, including 650 courts and tribunals and 139 prisons in England and Wales.
New Justice Secretary Ken Clarke