A NEW prize has been awarded to a law student in honour of a former lecturer.

The Leo Blair Prize for student advocacy was named for the former criminal law lecturer at Durham University, who kindled a passion for advocacy in successive generations of students.

His son and former Prime Minister Tony Blair presented the inaugural award to Mia Purdy, a graduating law student who launched Durham's Bar Society and has enjoyed successes in mooting.

She won a merit-based scholarship to begin her Bar training course from law firm BPP and Lincoln Inn’s prestigious Lord Denning Scholarship.

Professor Thom Brooks, Dean of Durham Law School, said: "I am delighted to launch this prize honouring the memory of one of our most popular former colleagues who has inspired so many to pursue successful careers in law.

"This prize helps raise the profile of advocacy, one of the most important skills young lawyers can master."

Mr Blair said: "I’m delighted to see the Law School thriving and I can’t tell you how proud my father would be to have this award named after him.

"Durham played a huge part in our lives.

"I am absolutely thrilled Mia will be the first winner of this prize."