Scale of opposition to Michael Gove’s idea of levy on firms to plug legal aid funding gaps apparent at conference.

Environment secretary Michael Gove was seen by many as the darling of the Conservative Party conference this week, basking in the glory of ending puppy farming and saving oceans.

Yet one remnant from his time as justice secretary was not so popular in Birmingham. Three years ago, Gove floated the idea of a levy on leading law firms to plug gaps in legal aid funding. It returned as part of a discussion at a fringe event of the conference – an event attended by justice minister Lucy Frazer QC.

The policy was not popular with the legal profession. As bar chair Andrew Walker pointed out, NHS funding does not rely on hand-outs from consultants.

Still, could it still be on the radar of the current justice ministerial team? Lawyers needn’t worry – Frazer laughed off the suggestion, insisting this was not even up for discussion at the ministry. Gove’s levy is not so much dormant as deceased and sleeping with his fishy friends.