FORMER justice secretary and Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland gave a look behind the scenes of his cabinet exit.

The South Swindon MP wrote about the day the Prime Minister asked him to step down from his role in the heart of government.

Mr Buckland said in The Spectator: “Politicians are supposed to have a survival instinct. Mine didn’t kick in last week, so I had no idea that my evidence session to a House of Lords committee on Wednesday would be my swansong.

“In the middle of [Prime Minister’s Questions], I had a text saying that the PM wished to see me. By 2pm, my time in the cabinet was over and I was leaving government.

“For the few of us lawyer-politicians left, there can be no better job than lord high chancellor of Great Britain. To walk in the footsteps of Becket, Wolsley, More, Bacon and Clarendon is an incredible honour. What other title would a person need?

“One of my favourite films is In Which We Serve. Noel Coward says to his crew that ‘a ship can’t be happy unless she is efficient and she certainly won’t be efficient unless she’s happy’. I hope that my old team felt that. When a cabinet member is sacked or the special advisers lose their jobs, I’d like to heartily recommend mine to any future employer. If they can put up with me, they can do anything.

“Backbenchers can, of course, speak their mind a little more freely than government ministers. So it is perhaps safe for me to say that I was interested to read the Spectator’s article suggesting that asylum seekers should be allowed to work as they wait for their claims to be processed. This already happens in Denmark and that system, I’d say, is well worth a look.

“It was perhaps prophetic that my choice at a karaoke party hosted by Liz Truss and Therese Coffey a few days before the reshuffle was Mack the Knife and That’s Life. ‘You’re riding high in April, shot down in May, but I know I’m gonna change that tune, when I’m back on top in June!’.

"I’ll settle for June 2022.”