‘The day the bar died’: Criminal barristers react to legal aid deal

Disappointment, frustration and calls for collective unity

Criminal barristers have taken to Twitter to share their thoughts and feelings in the wake of their narrow decision to accept the government’s pay deal on legal aid.

Justice Secretary Brandon Lewis has described the result as a “breakthrough” which he put down to both the government and criminal barristers “coming together and restarting what I hope to be a constructive relationship as we work to drive down the backlog and ensure victims see justice done sooner”.

The acceptance of the government’s offer is an early boost for Lewis who was appointed Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice at the beginning of September. However, political pressure will now be mounting on the government concerning other strikes by public sector workers.

In the lead-up to the vote, several barristers who were opposed to the government’s deal voiced their criticisms on Twitter. Amongst those who have gone public saying they voted the deal down were the Secret Barrister and Chris Daw KC who both have a large following on social media.

Several barristers shared their strong and raw emotions at this morning’s result which saw 57% of those who voted accept the deal.

Many have indicated that this result does not necessarily mark the end of the government’s troubles.

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