Wales

Sir John Thomas becomes new Lord Chief Justice

Sir John Thomas
Image caption Sir John will become Lord Thomas after the Queen conferred a life peerage on him

A Welsh lawyer has been sworn in as the new Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, the country's top judge.

Sir John Thomas, originally from Carmarthen, is taking over from Lord Judge, 72, who has retired after five years.

Sir John has been president of the Queen's Bench Division since October 2011 and has managed cases such as Abu Hamza and Julian Assange.

The ceremony took place in front of 300 people at the Royal Courts of Justice.

He was described as someone who "positively fizzes with ideas" by Lord Dyson, Master of the Rolls, who said it was a "great day for Wales and also a great day for England".

Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling said: "We have someone in Sir John who is a moderniser. He has clearly demonstrated over the years a drive for constant improvement."

Sir John will become Lord Thomas after the Queen conferred a life peerage on him.

He was born in Carmarthen and grew up in Ystradgynlais, Powys.

He was called to the bar in 1969 and was knighted when he became a High Court judge in 1996.

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