Geoffrey cox

Has Geoffrey Cox got a new rival?

Sir Geoffrey Cox was thrust once more into the limelight just before Christmas, after the Owen Paterson row brought the issue of MPs’ second jobs to the fore.  Newspapers were agog at the former Attorney-General’s earnings, regaling their readers with endless zeros and pound signs galore. The Daily Mail splashed the news that the baritone barrister earned £1 million a year in outside work; the Guardian claimed Sir Geoffrey had taken home £6 million since first being elected to Parliament. But could the Torridge MP actually be getting a raw deal from his outside work? Estimates vary at to what Cox’s hourly rate is but his entry in the Commons register of interests in January says

Double bubble for MPs’ passholders

Far from being a ‘storm in a teacup’ – in the famous last words of George Eustice – the Westminster sleaze scandal shows no sign of abating. As day 13 rolls around, Cabinet members Jacob Rees-Mogg and Grant Shapps are respectively facing questions about £6 million of undeclared loans and, er, spending taxpayers’ money on lobbyists fighting the government’s own plans to build on private runways. Surreal stuff. Few MPs have featured as much in the discourse around ‘second jobs’ as Geoffrey Cox, the baritone barrister who juggles his judicial jaunts with his duties in Torridge and West Devon. One of Steerpike’s readers has written in to note wryly that on Cox’s

Geoffrey Cox’s brave public engagement

Some ministers prefer to jump before they’re pushed. Take Philip Hammond, who opted to walk away last year before the inevitable happened. So Mr S. can’t help but wonder whether Geoffrey Cox is soon to follow suit. Reports have already emerged that Cox is planning a return to life as a barrister. And who can blame the embattled Attorney General? Cox came under immense pressure during last summer’s prorogation wrangle when he attracted criticism for suggesting the suspension of parliament was ‘lawful and within the constitution’. The Supreme Court had other ideas. And it seems Cox may now be preparing to spill the beans on his time in the Cabinet,

In defence of Geoffrey Cox

Something ugly has come out of the Supreme Court’s decision to change the law and our constitution yesterday. Instead of basking magnanimously in the fact that they won, there have been wholly unwarranted calls from Remainers for ‘heads on plates’. The cry has gone out for the Attorney General, Geoffrey Cox, to publish his legal advice and to resign. The rather bizarre premise is presumably that in giving advice to the government that the prorogation was lawful, he somehow did something wrong. Let me be unequivocal – he did not, and the calls for his resignation are both vindictive and inappropriate. How can I be so sure? Well, what the bloodthirsty

Full text: Geoffrey Cox’s Onward speech – ‘if I can raise any humour tonight it’s going to be gallows humour’

When Geoffrey Cox stood on stage at Conservative conference and gave a speech to introduce Theresa May, the newly appointed Attorney General managed to steal the show. Cox managed to bring the house down with his Mufasa-inspired routine – quoting poetry as he called on members to get behind the Prime Minister. At Tuesday night’s Onward event – to celebrate the Conservative think tank’s first year – Cox cut a more sombre figure. The Cabinet minister used his speech to address the problems the party finds itself in – deploying some gallows humour along the way: ‘This is the first time I’ve ever addressed a think tank and I’m a

Uncool Britannia

A famous actor looks tearfully into the camera. It is Michael Sheen, or possibly Ewan McGregor. His voice cracks as he says: ‘For just £5 a month, you could help an MP recover from the shock of having his Brexit amendment rejected. Just £5 will help pay for counsellors trained to help our brave MPs debate EU withdrawal motions. Please donate now so that MPs like Nick Boles know you care. They give so much of themselves, and ask so little…’ I exaggerate, but only a bit. We keep hearing from MPs about how the stress of Brexit is harming them mentally and emotionally. You might think the nation’s elected

Geoffrey Cox’s legal verdict deals big blow to May’s revamped deal

In a rare interview over the weekend, Attorney General Geoffrey Cox told the Mail on Sunday that he would not be pushed into giving dubious legal advice on the backstop. He said he would ‘not change’ his opinion unless he was certain there was ‘no legal risk of us being indefinitely detained in the backstop’; ‘My professional reputation is far more important to me than my reputation as a politician. If the risk of being trapped in the backstop had not been removed, then I would make it as clear and plain and in exactly the same way as I did on November 13.’ Today that promise has come to fruition

Why Brexiteers aren’t backing down

Geoffrey Cox is in Brussels attempting to achieve a breakthrough on the backstop. So far, the Attorney General’s efforts have not gone entirely to plan – with the word in Brussels that the first night of talks with Michel Barnier went badly. If Cox cannot win a significant concession on the backstop that will allow him to change his legal advice, there is little chance of Theresa May’s deal passing next week. However, even if he is successful in his aim there’s a chance it won’t be enough to win over Tory eurosceptics. As I write in the i paper, there is an increasing pessimism within the Cabinet that May

What Geoffrey Cox wants from Brussels

What does Theresa May want to get from Brussels? At Prime Minister’s Questions, Jeremy Corbyn pressed the Prime Minister on what type of concession she would be seeking from the EU on the backstop. May refused to divulge many details but the word in Whitehall is that the UK government is ready to present a specific proposal to Brussels. The expectation in government is that Attorney General Geoffrey Cox’s aim is to secure a joint interpretative exit mechanism with a notice period attached to it. Government sources say that the notice period ought to be around 12 months – though this isn’t necessarily a red line. Other government figures play

Could a meaningful vote come as early as next week?

Is a Brexit breakthrough imminent? The talk in Westminster tonight is that the government could soon have something to present to MPs on the Irish backstop. Geoffrey Cox – the Attorney General – has been in Brussels this week working with EU officials on a legally binding change. He has managed to charm some on the EU side and – in a sign of his commitment to the cause – is said to have threatened to sleep in the corridors if that’s what it took to get a deal done. At Cabinet today, Cox urged caution, telling colleagues there is still some way to go – yet Cabinet sources are optimistic

Finally, a minister treats us like adults on Brexit

What does it take to boost Tory morale these days? Oddly enough, the answer appears to be an hour-long session on troubling legal advice. With an Opposition Day debate leading to a demand for Theresa May to publish the EU withdrawal bill legal advice in full, the Prime Minister attempted to satisfy angry MPs by sending her Attorney General Geoffrey Cox to answer questions on the legal implications of the proposed Brexit deal. The Brexiteer – who drew comparisons to the Lion King’s Mufasa with his barnstorming conference speech – told MPs that while the government was disinclined to publish the advice in full, his presence ought to go some

Theresa May’s Mufasa becomes a problem for Downing Street

Has Theresa May’s Mufasa just transformed into No 10’s most troublesome minister? Geoffrey Cox – the Attorney General – shot to the public consciousness this month thanks to his star turn as the warm up act for May at Conservative party conference. The seasoned QC gave a barn-storming speech (which drew Lion King comparisons) calling for his fellow Brexiteers to get behind May and prepare to compromise in their quest for a good deal for the UK. As regular Coffee House readers will be aware, this was the second time Cox had thrown May a lifeline. Prior to his appointment to the Cabinet, the Conservative MP demonstrated his loyalty to Theresa

Geoffrey Cox – the most important politician you’ve never heard of

In the end, the star of Conservative conference was a Brexiteer. Only it wasn’t Boris Johnson – or even Jacob Rees-Mogg. Instead, it was someone with a much lower media profile – Geoffrey Cox QC. Theresa May’s recently appointed Attorney General stole the show with a Mufasa-inspired barn-storming stage routine. In it, Cox’s booming baritone echoed across the hall as he gave a robust defence of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union – and May’s Chequers agreement: As Conservative MPs watched from the front row seats, a few had to admit that they weren’t sure who their colleague was. The bulk found that they didn’t have his phone number.

Today in audio: Margaret Beckett’s praying for another Corbyn miracle

Haven’t had a chance to follow the day’s political events and interviews? Then don’t worry: here, The Spectator, brings you the best of today’s audio clips in one place for you to listen to. Margaret Beckett said she is hoping and praying for a second Jeremy Corbyn ‘miracle’: There was praise for Miles Goslett in Parliament, with Paul Flynn saying the Spectator piece he wrote on Kids Company was ‘British journalism at its very best’: Geoffrey Cox said sorry in the Commons for failing to declare £400k of his income: But after removing his tail from between his legs, he gave a rousing speech to tell the chamber why he