Boris Johnson’s comments on “left-wing criminal justice lawyers” is part of a strategy to undermine the rule of law in the UK, the Faculty of Advocates has claimed.
In an unusually outspoken move, the organisation has rebuked the Prime Minister for “political posturing” and a “baseless mischaracterisation” of lawyers, which it said was “damaging to the rule of law”.
Mr Johnson, who has previously dismissed human rights lawyers also as “lefty”, said on Wednesday that “left-wing criminal justice lawyers act against the public interest”.
Speaking on LBC radio, Mr Johnson was asked to respond to comments by Labour party leader, Sir Keir Starmer, that the Conservatives had become the party of crime and disorder.
He said: “When you look at Labour, you see a party that voted consistently against tougher sentences for serious sexual violent offenders. The Labour opposition has consistently taken the side of, I’m afraid, left-wing criminal justice lawyers against, I believe, the interests of the public.”
His comments came nearly a year after he told the Conservative Party conference the criminal justice system was being hamstrung by “lefty human rights lawyers”.
In a statement on its website, the Faculty of Advocates, which regulates the training and professional practice, conduct and discipline of advocates in Scotland, said it “deplores” Mr Johnson’s comments.
The body said: “These comments go hand-in-hand with recent pronouncements by the home secretary and appear to be part of a strategy to undermine the rule of law.