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Peer missed debate for speed course

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An eminent peer has revealed that she prioritised a speeding course over a House of Lords debate.

Former president of the High Court's Family Division, crossbencher Baroness Butler-Sloss, explained her absence and apologised to her peers.

She said that attending the course helped her avoid points on her driving licence and as a result it took "priority" over debate on the Local Government Bill.

Motorists across the country have the option of attending a National Speed Awareness workshop, which has been put in place by police forces, to avoid 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.

© Press Association 2010