The government lost three more votes on its planned legal aid reforms in the House of Lords yesterday, but narrowly staved off an amendment that would have kept public funding for all clinical negligence cases.

In the second day of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill?s report stage, peers accepted, by 237 votes to 198, an amendment tabled by Liberal Democrat Lady Doocey to retain legal aid for advice on appeals against welfare benefit decisions in first level tribunals.

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