Grant shuffled out as PM names ex-City solicitor as new justice minister

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By Legal Futures

7 October 2013

Vara: former whip

Prime Minister David Cameron has appointed solicitor Shailesh Vara as a junior minister at the Ministry of Justice, replacing Helen Grant.

Ms Grant – whose responsibilities included legal services, civil justice, victims and the courts – has been moved sideways to the Department of Culture, Media and Sports after just a year in post.

Mr Vara practised in London and Hong Kong, with City firm CMS Cameron McKenna one of his former employers.

Having failed twice to be elected, he became the Conservative MP for the safe seat of North West Cambridgeshire in 2005, succeeding Sir Brian Mawhinney. For the previous four years he was a vice-chairman of the party.

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Between May 2010 and September 2012 Mr Vara was an assistant government whip, and his appointment marks a return to government after a year on the backbenches. He is also vice-chairman of the executive committee of Conservative Lawyers.

It is not yet known whether there will be any more changes to the junior ranks of the Ministry of Justice and whether Mr Vara will simply assume Ms Grant’s areas of responsibility.

See blog: The strange case of the disappearing justice minister

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