DISCIPLINE: Earl of Burford is ejected from Parliament again

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The Independent Online
THE EARL of Burford, who secured his footnote in history when he interrupted debate to abolish hereditary peers' voting rights, was ejected from Westminster for the second time in a week yesterday.

The eldest son of the Duke of St Albans was unceremoniously thrown out of Parliament after trying to hold a press conference to announce he was standing against Michael Portillo in the Kensington and Chelsea by-election.

The Earl of Burford, who has accused Tony Blair of committing "treason" by scrapping hereditaries' ancient rights, said an attendant at the premises of Number One Abbey Garden, told him he had to halt the gathering under orders of Black Rod, who enforces discipline in the House of Lords.

The 34-year-old earl, a descendant of Charles II and his mistress Nell Gwynn, and his entourage were forced to continue the news conference on nearby College Green. Last week, Lord Burford amazed the normally sedate chamber when he leapt on the Lord Chancellor's Woolsack during the third reading debate of the House of Lords Bill to condemn the Government's plans.

The earl, who said his actions were "political not personal", is the by-election candidate for the Democratic Party, the political group launched a year ago by Worcestershire businessman Geoff Southall.

"Heredity is the family and an attack on it is an attack on society," said the earl. "Democracy has evolved for the last 800 years. It wasn't created overnight. It is a rich tapestry and if we destroy it we destroy our culture."