Daily Mail 13th April. Law and Lawyers has posted on this case before - see here. Certain media headlines stated that M.P.s who claim to be "above the law" receive legal aid. That is incorrect since the Bill of Rights and Parliamentary Privilege are part of the law.
The cuts in legal aid for criminal cases brought in by the Labour Government are severe. Legal Representation in Magistrates' Courts is only provided if the defendant passes a means test AND the case passes the interests of justice test. The introduction of means testing in Magistrates' Courts took place in October 2006 and was a reversal of government policy which has resulted in many having to appear before magistrates unrepresented. In the first half of 2010, means testing is being introduced into the Crown Court. Strictly speaking there is only ONE Crown Court for England and Wales though it sits in different locations but means testing is being introduced according to a "roll out" plan which may be seen at Legal Services Commission. It will not apply to London until 28th June. That is convenient for these MPs who are being tried by the Crown Court sitting at Southwark. This method of introducing means testing appears to be particularly unfair.