Former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has responded to the criticisms made of him, in particular by former Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, in the development of the constitutional steps which led to the establishment of the Supreme Court.  The response is in the form of a letter to Lord Goodlad, the Chairman of the House of Lords Constitution Committee, which is looking into the changes which were made.

 The letter follows a memo (on which we blogged here) sent by Irvine to the Committee in November in which he said that Blair  “seemed mystified” when Irvine said that such a change required proper consultation.  In the letter (which runs to less than three pages and is in lieu of attendance before the Committee – Blair of course has another significant Committee to attend in the near future), Blair very briefly explains his thinking as to the changes (he does not actually refer to the establishment of the Supreme Court at all) and states that “in today’s world … it is very hard to conduct any consultation confidentially”.  Some might think that when he was being invited to conduct a consultation with solely the Lord Chancellor, other leading figures in the judiciary and the Palace, this might ring a little hollow.  Nonetheless he appreciates that the process was both “bumpy” and “messy” for which he accepts full responsibility.

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