Lobbying scandal: House of Lords watchdog to investigate three peers accused of agreeing to do parliamentary work for payment
Monday 03 June 2013
The House of Lords standards commissioner has begun investigating the three peers caught up in a lobbying scandal, it was announced today.
Leader of the House Lord Hill of Oareford described the allegations as "very serious and distressing".
In a short statement he said ex-cabinet minister Lord Cunningham and Lord Mackenzie of Framwellgate, who have both been suspended by Labour, and Lord Laird, who has resigned from the Ulster Unionists, would all be investigated.
The three, who deny any wrongdoing and referred themselves to the standards watchdog, were caught in an undercover sting by Sunday Times reporters posing as lobbyists working for a fake energy firm.
Lord Hill told peers: "The sub-committee on Lords conduct agreed to a request earlier today from the House of Lords commissioner for standards, Mr Paul Kernaghan, that he proceed to investigate the three members of this House against whom allegations have been made.
"Independent external investigation of these allegations is therefore in hand."
He added: "For the last three years we have had in place a clear code of conduct to regulate our behaviour as members of this House and we have also had an independent commissioner for standards whose task it is to investigate whether there has been a breach of that code.
"I'm pleased that the necessary preliminary steps to secure a proper investigation have already been taken and from this point it is now over to the commissioner, who will make his report in each case to the sub-committee on Lords conduct.
"The allegations made at the weekend are very serious and distressing to us all. I know I speak for all the parties when I say they do not reflect the House we know and the members who work here from a sense of public service, a desire to hold the Government to account and to revise legislation."
Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
Pornhub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Licence fee: What is the BBC charge – and how will the changes affect you?
- 3 This is what the photographer has to say about the picture of a weasel riding a woodpecker
- 4 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for