June 26, 1998

Alumnus to be proud of no 178 is, in the usage of the Upper House, the noble and learned Lord Neill, former vice-chancellor of Oxford University and chairman of the committee on standards in public life.

Lord Neill has shown remarkable political footwork - and an all too direct approach to acquiring first-hand knowledge of political scandal - by first winning the brief to represent Lady Porter on her conduct of Westminster Council and then abandoning the idea this week while she was at a safe distance in the Czech Republic. This style may have been implanted in his time as a student at Magdalen College, Oxford, although other commentators point to his 45 years as a fellow of All Souls, including 18 years as warden.

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