Lords declare paid lobbying interests

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Chief Political Correspondent

Lord Carrington, the former Foreign Secretary, yesterday was among five peers to declare they are paid by Parliamentary lobbying companies under new "anti-sleaze" rules in the House of Lords.

The former Tory Cabinet minister declares he is a director of Chime Communications in the new register of members interests in the Lords under the mandatory requirement for peers involved in Parliamentary lobbying on behalf of clients.

Other peers who declare an interest in lobbying include the newly appointed Liberal Democrat Lord McNally, a former MP, who is a director and employee of Shandwick Consultants; and Baroness Turner of Camden, the Labour peeress, who is a non-executive director of Ian Greer Associates.

There is also potential embarrassment for Labour over the declaration that the former chief whip in the last Labour Government Lord Cocks is a paid consultant to British Telecom. Labour opposed the sale of BT when he was a backbencher, and later listed Sir Iain Vallance, chairman of BT, among the utility "fat cats".

Twenty-two peers, including Lord Cocks, declared they were paid advisers. They include Lord Lucas of Chilworth, a Conservative peer who tabled 56 amendments to the Environment Bill to reduce the regulations over the waste disposal industry. He declared he was "retained" by the Environmental Services Association, which represents waste disposal businesses.

About 311 of the most prominent peers have made voluntary declarations, but Baroness Thatcher declined under the category for peers who consider they have interests which they consider "may affect the public perception of the way in which they discharge their Parliamentary duties".