Triple defeat for legal aid reforms

Kenneth Clarke's plans to overhaul the legal aid system took a battering last night as ministers suffered three defeats in the House of Lords.

Peers of all parties repeatedly rebelled over the Justice Secretary's moves to slash spending on legal aid by £350m.

Further defeats are expected tomorrow in the second day of the report stage of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill.

Mr Clarke proposes withdrawing benefit from most cases of family breakdown, medical negligence, immigration, debt and welfare benefit.

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