After the public announcement, the truth begins to emerge. The legal aid crisis is much deeper than Lord Falconer led reporters to believe when he briefed the press on Tuesday.

What reporters were not told was that, on present projections, the legal aid budget will overspend by £130 million this year and by similar amounts in subsequent years. Since we are just three months into a new financial year, the Lord Chancellor and his officials must have known about this black hole when the annual spending plans were agreed.

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