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  1. ITV Report

Embarrassment for Swindon South's Conservative MP

Swindon South's Conservative MP, Robert Buckland is facing embarrassment - just five days into his new job as Solicitor General. The man in charge of ensuring that lawyers do not bring the profession into disrepute was himself found guilty of just such a charge three years ago.

Labour are asking why this was not disclosed when Mr Buckland was appointed during Tuesday's reshuffle, and accuse Downing Street of not doing proper background checks.

Henry Webster was left with brain damage after attack Credit: Wiltshire Police

The background of this story goes back to 2007, when Mr Buckland - not at that time an MP - was governor of Ridgeway School in Wroughton. A group of Asian youths - four of them pupils at the school - were convicted of attacking a white pupil, Henry Webster, and inflicting serious brain injuries. Mr Buckland, a former barrister and part-time judge, was asked to conduct an internal investigation into the school's policies on racism and bullying. As part of that he approached a barrister for one of the accused, Robin Shellard, who handed over his case notes.

Henry's mother, Liz, told the Mail on Sunday, she was horrified.

"He (Mr Buckland) was a school governor, but if the school had been found guilty of racism that would have affected his career".

– Liz Webster

The barristers' disciplinary body, the Council of Inns of Court, ruled in 2011 that both Mr Buckland and Mr Shellard were guilty of professional misconduct, in that Mr Buckland should not have asked for, and Mr Shellard should not have handed over, the case notes.

However as this ruling was made more than two years ago it no longer appears on the Bar Standards Board website.

Mr Buckland, who became MP for Swindon South in 2010, told the Mail on Sunday that it was a "genuine attempt to establish facts at the school."

"This is the only time I have had any issue with the Bar Standards Board. I genuinely thought I was taking the right action for the school. I regret it ended up in the position it did".

– Robert Buckland, Swindon South MP

His office say he was not required to declare the finding when offered the post of Solicitor General.

"The tribunal found it to be a minor breach in that no penalty was imposed, he was not suspended or fined and continued to practice and sit as a Recorder."

– Attorney General, Spokesperson

Mrs Webster believes he should resign.