The prosecution is to appeal the ruling to stay a £4.5m fraud trial boycotted by defence advocates protesting against fee cuts, Southwark Crown Court heard today.

On behalf of the Financial Conduct Authority, Sean Larkin QC (pictured) told His Honour Judge Leonard that the authority will appeal his ruling on Monday and asked him to expedite the case.

Larkin said as a result of Leonard's stay ruling yesterday a situation could arise that no very serious criminal cases could be prosecuted. This, he said, would have consequences for the criminal justice system and public confidence in it.

For the defence, Alex Cameron QC, the prime minister's brother, said it does not follow that Leonard's ruling will mean that the other trials caught up by the bar's refusal to accept VHCC's will be affected.

Leonard refused the FCA leave to appeal and refused to expedite the case.

However, he said, it is in the public interest for the case to be heard as soon as possible.

The FCA has five days to apply for leave to appeal.

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