, 12 tweets, 4 min read
Petitioners on their 3rd motion asking for an "accelerated timetable,"whatever the outcome today.
Notes again that after 11 weeks the case becomes "academic."
Andrew Webster QC rises to respond on behalf of the government.
He says that he opposes an immediate referral to the higher court, says the duty of this court is to provide a report to the higher court.
Counsel for the government says the petitioners appear to have a "desultory view," of the abilities of this court.
Adds that he agrees there are only 11 weeks to settle this case, but "you can squeeze a lot into 11 weeks."
Says the are 3 possible procedures, this one, the Inner House and the Supreme Court, that gives each 3 weeks to consider the case.
Argues this is challenging but achievable.
Andrew Webster QC, for the Government, moves onto the issue of limiting costs.
He says firstly the court has no information on the likely costs, says there are 75 petitioners, all but one an MP a combined income of £5.5 Million just on their salaries.
Adds that a look at the Register of Members Interests shows many MPS have other sources of income. They also have a £100,000 fighting fund, achieved via crowdfunding.
"It is remarkable that petitioners with an income of £5.5M plus a £100k fighting fund are claiming a limit on costs."
Notes that the test for limiting costs is that the case might not proceed without it, "why have we not heard from the other 74 petitioners?"
He asks if Jolyon Maugham has indemnified the other petitioners,? Argues the document presented is "opaque."
Notes the legal teams are not working pro bono (for free)
Says as there is a £100k fighting fund, any limit on expenses should be at least £30k, leaving £70k for the defence legal team "who are working at non-commercial rate."
"Why should the public purse be exposed?" he asks.
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