Obiter was pleased to see that an old friend, Andrew, Lord Phillips of Sudbury to the rest of you, is among the Liberal Democrat peers willing to give the coalition a bloody nose over its legal aid reforms. The former Bates Wells & Braithwaite senior partner is certainly someone Obiter wants on-side in what passes for a ruck in The Other Place.
But it almost wasn’t so. In July 2006, despite being, at 67, a full year younger than the average Lords age, Phillips tried to ‘vacate’ his seat to make way for ‘younger blood’. He wasn’t allowed, though he was granted a ‘leave of absence’ that ended in 2009, since when he’s been attending and speaking regularly.