Last November, the Daily Mail ran the headline “Enemies of the people” when the high court, on which Thomas was sitting, found against the government, forcing ministers to obtain parliamentary backing before triggering Brexit.
The lord chief justice told peers: “The circuit judges were very concerned. They wrote to the lord chancellor because litigants in person were coming and saying ‘you’re an enemy of the people’.
“I don’t think it is understood either how absolutely essential it is that we [the judges] are protected because we have to act as our oath requires us without fear or favour.
“It is the only time in the whole of my judicial career that I have had to ask for the police to give us a measure of advice and protection [for Gina Miller, the lead claimant in the Article 50 case] in relation to the emotions that were being stirred up.