Three weeks after her elevation to the peerage, the unelected Lady Chakrabarti has been appointed as shadow attorney general by her friend and boss, Jeremy Corbyn.
As a former barrister and Director of Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti will bring a wealth of experience to her role as Shadow Attorney General
— Jeremy Corbyn MP (@jeremycorbyn) October 6, 2016
It is surely the greatest irony that this Corbyn crony, who made her name fighting for fundamental rights and freedoms, has been given such an important job without having to go to the trouble of standing in a democratic election.
That aside, she’s also just lodged her financial and other interests with the House of Lords authorities – and it turns out this new member of the Opposition is busy writing a book.
It’s not about anti-semitism – a topic on which she might consider herself an expert – but about “gender injustice”. It will be published by Penguin in 2018.
Presumably Chakrabarti will dedicate a chapter of the tome to some recent “gender injustice” she experienced when the decision was taken to send her son to fee-paying Dulwich College, in direct contravention of Jeremy Corbyn’s education policy. The blame for putting the boy into one of the most expensive independent schools in the country has been laid at the door of Chakrabarti’s ex-husband, Martyn Hopper.
Supposedly, Mr Hopper told his ex-wife their son was going to Dulwich College and poor Lady Chakrabarti wasn’t allowed a say in the matter.
This doesn’t take into account the fact that she had previously accompanied her son to the Eton College entrance exam, but never mind.
My great friend, former barrister and Director of Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti will play a brilliant role as the new Shadow Attorney General
— Diane Abbott MP (@HackneyAbbott) October 6, 2016
Elsewhere in the register of Lords’ interests, the new shadow attorney general has also made it clear that she intends to remain a non-practising barrister, though she is accepting “sponsorship” (“receipt of post and email and occasional use of meeting rooms”) from 39 Essex Chambers, whose other members include Justine Thornton QC, wife of ex-Labour leader Ed Miliband.
That’s not the only mention of Essex in her entry. Chakrabarti is also the chancellor of Essex University. Its staff “support” her in managing her diary.
Presumably they take to this task with great vigour in light of Chakrabarti’s recent plea to Labour members at the Labour conference not to “lock me in a room with Essex man” – a reference to the exodus of those who are anti-Jeremy Corbyn.
She will also continue earning a crust on the after-dinner speaking circuit, where she charges £2,500 to £5,000 per engagement.
Now that she’s shadow attorney general, she may charge even more.