Oh Ministry of Justice, you big tease.

The department set lawyers gathering for the Motor Accident Solicitors Society conference last week all of a twitter, with the news that it would make a written statement to parliament on the loathed Civil Liability Bill.

Could this be the moment they were waiting for? Would the government increase whiplash tariffs? Forget about increasing the small-claims limit? Perhaps even call the whole thing off altogether?

Alas, no. The statement, when it finally came after 5pm, was as dry as it gets: a technical point on EVEL (English Votes for English Laws).

Indeed, rumour had it that when one MASS member tried calling the MoJ for advanced notice of what the statement contained, the civil servant on the other end of the phone was unaware anything was even being issued.

Quite why it took all day to publish a three-sentence statement is difficult to discern. Especially as the delay was only likely to get solicitors’ hopes up.