My favourite character in the media storm that has embraced embattled Tory peer Baroness Warsi is 'Barrister' Abid (full name Abid Hussein), the Baroness's Walthamstow-based business partner.
When he’s not working on projects with Warsi, Abid – who graduated in law from Sheffield Hallam University – is a 'third sector and external funding manager' at Tower Hamlets council.
The Bar Council has no record of Abid qualifying, yet he regularly prefixes his name with 'Barrister'.
I’ve spent the last couple of days trying to contact Sheffield-born Abid to find out if he is qualified as a barrister in a jurisdiction other than England and Wales, but Tower Hamlets council’s press office tells me is currently on leave and has been unable to put me in touch with him or anyone who might be able to comment on his behalf.
All they would say is that Abid "is not employed as a lawyer here so we are not prepared to comment." Accordingly, I’ve been unable to rule out the possibility that Abid simply nicknamed himself 'barrister'.
Certainly, it would be a preferable option to forking out £16K on the BPTC and then failing, like 80% of Bar graduates, to secure a pupillage. But are you allowed to do this?