Garnier loses his job in cabinet reshuffle
MP Edward Garnier says he will miss "the buzz" of his role as solicitor general after being ousted from the post in David Cameron's Cabinet reshuffle.
The Prime Minister announced a number of changes to his Cabinet and senior ministerial team yesterday.
Harborough MP Mr Garnier had held the role of solicitor general – a top legal adviser to the Cabinet – since the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition took power in May 2010.
He said he thought he was axed because the PM was in search of a younger candidate.
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"I would have preferred to stay in the Government but it is entirely up to the Prime Minister who he has in the Government," he said.
"But I'm afraid I'm not one of those people who bursts into tears over these sorts of things.
He was called at home at 10.30pm on Monday and asked to meet the PM yesterday morning, when he was told the news.
"He [the PM] said, 'I'm afraid I have to let you go'.
"I'm of an age – I'm 60 next year and the Prime Minister is in his early 40s. I dare say he thinks people of my age are getting on a bit."
Mr Garnier's replacement, North East Hertfordshire MP Oliver Heald, is two years younger.
Mr Garnier said: "Clearly, I'd rather have carried on, but I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.
"It is not an occupation where you can expect to be rewarded or kept in a job."
As solicitor general, Mr Garnier was deputy to the attorney general, Dominic Grieve, who advises the cabinet on law.
He could be asked to appear in court on behalf of the Government and advise on legal issues such as devolution of powers to Scotland.
Mr Garnier, a barrister, said he had no favourite moments in the role, but would miss the "buzz" of the job.
He said: "I will miss working at the very heart and the very centre of things.
"I will miss the buzz and the people within the department – I got on very well with the civil servants and the lawyers."
Mr Garner will lose a wage of about £69,000 a year but will continue to receive his MP's salary of about £65,000.
"You don't go into politics to make money," he said.
"Compared to the bar, it [the salary] is not very much.
"It was a very demanding and consuming job but I will not be short of things to do.
"I'm not someone who sits about doing nothing."
Mr Heald, who practised as a barrister for 23 years, told the Hertfordshire Mercury: "I have just returned from Downing Street and I am very pleased to have been offered the job as solicitor general.
"It is really great news. I am surprised but delighted to have this chance to be part of Government."