Speeding peer apologises to House

A peer has apologised to the House of Lords for missing a debate to attend a speeding course for drivers, it has emerged.

Former president of the High Court's Family Division, Crossbencher Baroness Butler-Sloss, said the course took "priority" over speaking in a debate on the Local Government Bill because it allowed her to avoid having points put on her driving licence.

Police forces across the UK have put the National Speed Awareness Scheme in place to give speeding motorists the opportunity to complete a workshop rather than receive a £60 fine and three penalty points.

Lady Butler-Sloss told peers: "May I first apologise for not attending second reading debate. I have to tell your lordships I was attending a session as to why I shouldn't speed.

"This did seem, since it required me to attend and therefore not to have three points on my licence, to take a priority even over your Lordships' House, as I successfully completed their training."

During her time as president of the Family Division, Lady Butler-Sloss presided over a series of high-profile cases, including the granting of anonymity to the killers of James Bulger.

Copyright © Press Association 2010