07:48, March 22 368 0 theguardian.com

2017-03-22 07:48:03
Lord chief justice castigates Liz Truss for failing to defend judges

The lord chief justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, has launched an attack on the justice secretary, Liz Truss, for her failure last year to defend judges who were branded “enemies of the people”.

Truss was “completely and utterly wrong” for arguing that she should not criticise the media during the article 50 Brexit court case, he told a House if Lords select committee.

“There’s a difference between criticism and abuse,” Thomas said, “and I don’t think that’s understood.”

The Daily Mail ran the headline: “Enemies of the people” when the high court, on which Lord Thomas was sitting, found against the government, forcing ministers to obtain parliamentary backing before triggering Brexit.

It is was Truss’s duty, as lord chancellor, to defend the judges, Thomas said. Truss has said that she supports freedom of the press and did not feel it was her role to tell newspapers what they should put on their front pages.