Lord chancellor David Gauke made all the right noises about the importance of diversity in the legal profession at last week’s Spark 21 women in law conference, organised by the First 100 Years Project. However, Obiter detected a collective sigh when the justice secretary and solicitor was asked to name a woman in the law who inspires him.

‘My wife is a lawyer. She inspires me every day. To be fair, she’s a much better lawyer than I ever was,’ the lord chancellor replied. 

A sweet answer, but a tad lame. ‘Why is she not lord chancellor then?’ a member of the audience whispered to her neighbour. 

Pity Gauke didn’t reply ‘Shami Chakrabarti’. That would have been a story.