Call to introduce new code of conduct for peers

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Indy Politics

The gentleman's code which has guided the behaviour of peers for centuries must be changed because new members are being recruited from such a wide range of sources, the Government's standards watchdog has decided.

As Tony Blair announces the names of 34 new working peers today, 19 of them Labour, Lord Neill of Bladen is to call for a full code of conduct for the House of Lords.

While MPs have a detailed code which says they must not be beholden to any outside organisation that might influence them, peers are supposed "to act always on their personal honour."

In a document to be published on Tuesday, Lord Neill will say the Government's drive to "cast its net wider than the present system" in recruiting peers is bound to cause problems.

His paper, which will open a formal inquiry into the financial interests of peers and their conduct by Lord Neill's Committee on Standards in Public Life, will say the new breed of peer is bound to need firmer guidance than the traditional type.