WASHINGTON – The United States Senate has confirmed President Donald Trump’s nomination for attorney general, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, by a vote of 52 to 47.

The confirmation follows a series of divisive hearings during which Democrats attacked Jeff for his views on race and civil rights.

The Alabama senator’s nomination was among Trump’s most controversial.

Voting largely followed party lines, with just one Democratic senator – Joe Manchin of West Virginia – voting for Jeff Sessions, the BBC reported.

At 70, Jeff Sessions is the same age as Donald Trump and was an early supporter of the president.

The Alabama senator is widely seen as an inspiration for Trump’s anti-immigration policies and his close ties to the president and special adviser Steve Bannon have raised concerns about his ability to be sufficiently independent from the White House.

He will now take charge of the justice department and its 113,000 employees, including 93 US attorneys.

Addressing the chamber after the vote, Jeff Sessions said: “There is no greater honour than to represent the people of Alabama in the greatest deliberative body in the world.

“I appreciate the full debate we’ve had and thank those afterwards who found sufficient confidence to cast their vote to confirm me as the next attorney general.

“I fully understand the august responsibility of this office.”

But he added that “denigrating people who don’t agree with us is not good for our politics”.

Sessions had criticized Martin Luther King’s widow, who opposed his nomination as a federal judge in 1986, alleging he had intimidated black voters.

That nomination was rejected by a US Senate panel amid concerns over allegedly racist comments made by Jeff Sessions, and remarks which appeared to be sympathetic to white supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan.