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Tory MP snubs QC darling of civil liberties bar in BBC documentary

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Conservative awkward squad member Peter Bone quickly rejects invitation to Dinah Rose’s human rights event

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Peter Bone is clearly a busy man.

In a recent episode of BBC Two’s Inside the Commons — a programme affording viewers a behind-the-curtain peek into parliamentary life — Bone is seen, somewhat bluntly, rejecting an invitation to a human rights event hosted by top QC Dinah Rose of the Temple’s Blackstone Chambers (see video below).

Bone — the MP for the Northamptonshire seat of Wellingborough, who backs UK withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights — is seen sitting at his parliamentary desk while his researcher reads a list of invitations.

The MP doesn’t miss a beat when he hears that his presence is requested at a soiree entitled “What’s the Point of the Human Rights Act? With Dinah Rose QC”. He barks a short, sharp “no”, leaving the researcher in no doubt that pretty much anything to do with that piece of legislation and that silk is not, well, his cup of Rosie Lee.

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That harsh rejection — one can almost taste the disdain — was issued despite Rose being The Lawyer magazine’s barrister of the year in 2009 and making The Times newspaper’s prestigious list of the country’s top 100 lawyers in 2012.

Rose — who was called to the Bar in 1989 and awarded silk in 2006 — isn’t a stranger to politics herself. Until 2013, she was a member of the Liberal Democrats but bailed out in protest at party leader Nick Clegg’s support for the coalition government’s justice and security bill.

Most recently, Rose has been on her hind legs in the High Court in London, representing the Law Society in a judicial review challenge to Ministry of Justice plans to create a two-tier contract system for criminal legal aid.

Indeed, Bone might be quite pleased with the fact that Rose took a bit of a beating in that matter, with the court dismissing Chancery Lane’s case (chalk up one to Justice Secretary Chris Grayling).

However, Rose’s refreshers are not in danger, as leave to appeal was granted this morning.