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Now I have nothing against the thoroughly decent John Timpson who as a barrister practitioner specialised in family law and not especially well paying work. As a scion of the Shoe family who have long worked commendably on the rehabilitation of prisoners my personal very liberal convictions on that subject lead me much to admire him

In fact after a LONG term as a formidable Transport standing Committee Chair on the Labour incumbent’s death he had regained the seat of Crewe and Nantwich for the Conservatives. He then lost that seat to Labour’s Laura Smith - unsure what happened there at the 2019 ge. Now I am surprised to learn that Brandon Lewis has the title KC for life ; what if - wildly improbable, I know- Charles sadly should predecease him and then - even more improbably, I grant you- the next monarch should be a Queen?

I do entirely agree with you Joshua that the title KC should be earned on merit rather than as an automatic procedure for a “political” silk.

I think that brings the entire process of recognising exceptional ability and skill into disrepute and it always has.

I can remember a number of barristers who chose not to take silk on becoming MPs on that basis since they would if having to return to practice as a solicitor or at the bar find themselves priced out of the available market on being thrown out by the electorate.

I was reminded that Keir Starmer on taking silk flagged up the illogicality of his having been dubbed “Her Majesty’s Counsel learned in the Law” , as it so happened by then Prince Charles, since he had long declared himself a Republican..

And so he and His Majesty go back a long way and seem on helpfully friendly terms. Keir of course was later knighted for his services to the law after his commendable and independent stint as Director of Public Prosecutions where he had in particular often had to resist arguably inappropriate pressure from then Prime Minister Theresa May. I did disagree with him about one seminal decision or series of decisions concerning the Paul Tomlinson bypasser of a demonstration who had - frankly- been subjected to a common assault by a specialist riot squad officer who had pushed him from the back to the ground. Causation had been the issue since serious doubt had then arisen as to whether that dangerous unlawful act had directly enough resulted in Mr. Tomlinson’s death. He had had a number of underlying health issues which might have contributed more directly to his death.

Now KC status honoris causa as for you Joshua is a totally different kettle of fish and in my experience and to my mind hugely merited for sterling services such as your own in communicating with such lucidity important legal issues to the public. The same applies to my very good friends Professor Sara Chandler of the Law Society’s Council and the redoubtable specialist in appellate work Glynn Maddox of Crickhowell.

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