The Rt Hon Michael Ellis KC MP
The Rt Hon Michael Ellis KC MP was appointed Attorney General on 6 September 2022. He was appointed Paymaster General from 16 September 2021 to 6 September 2022. He was also Minister for the Cabinet Office from 8 February 2022 to 6 September 2022.
He was Solicitor General from 26 July 2019 to 2 March 2021, and re-appointed to that role from 10 September 2021 to 15 September 2021. He was Attorney General from 2 March 2021 to 10 September 2021 while Suella Braverman was designated as a Minister on Leave.
He was previously Minister of State at the Department for Transport from 23 May 2019 to 25 July 2019. He was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport from January 2018 to May 2019. He was Deputy Leader of the House of Commons from 17 July 2016 to 8 January 2018. He was elected Conservative MP for Northampton North in May 2010.
The Attorney General is chief legal adviser to the Crown and has a number of independent public interest functions, as well as overseeing the Law Officers’ departments.
Overall responsibility for the work of the Attorney General’s Office and superintended Departments (the Government Legal Department, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Serious Fraud Office and HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate)
Specific statutory duty to superintend the discharge of duties by the Director of Public Prosecutions (who heads the Crown Prosecution Service) and the Director of the Serious Fraud Office
Non-statutory general oversight of the Services Prosecuting Authority and government prosecuting departments
Government’s principal legal adviser dealing with (amongst others) questions of international law, human rights, devolution and COVID-19 issues
Public interest functions, for example, reference of unduly lenient sentences to the Court of Appeal, bringing proceedings for contempt of court and intervention in certain proceedings to protect charities
Questions of law arising on Bills and with issues of legal policy
Legal aspects of all major international and domestic litigation involving the Government, (including matters related to future relations with the EU)
The Attorney General also holds the separate office of Advocate General for Northern Ireland. The Advocate General for Scotland has specific responsibility for Scottish law matters.
Attorney General’s Office
The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) provides legal advice and support to the Attorney General and the Solicitor General (the Law Officers) who give legal advice to government. The AGO helps the Law Officers perform other duties in the public interest, such as looking at sentences which may be too low.