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Leading judge welcomes seventh Tory Lord Chancellor in just under six years

The most senior judge in England and Wales has told lawyers how the latest Lord Chancellor is the seventh he has worked with during just under six years in office.

Lord Burnett, the Lord Chief Justice, who is due to retire in the autumn, said he hoped Alex Chalk would be “my last”.

He was speaking as Mr Chalk – a barrister and Conservative MP for Cheltenham – was formally sworn in as Lord Chancellor on Wednesday.

Chalk sworn in
The swearing in ceremony took place in Court 4 at The Court of the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales (Aaron Chown/PA)

Judges and lawyers welcomed Mr Chalk, who was appointed Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary on April 21, to his new role at a traditional ceremony in Court 4 at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

“You are my seventh in just under six years, albeit one twice,” said Lord Burnett, who became Lord Chief Justice in October 2017.

“I hope you are my last.”

Since October 2017 Britain has had four Conservative Prime Ministers – Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak.

Members of Mr Chalk’s family were at the ceremony to see him swear an oath of office.