Peers suspended from Lords over expenses claims
Thursday 21 October 2010
Three peers were given lengthy suspensions from the House of Lords today after wrongly claiming thousands of pounds in expenses.
Labour peers Baroness Uddin and Lord Paul, and crossbencher Lord Bhatia, were suspended after the upper chamber approved the damning judgments of its Privileges and Conduct Committee.
Lady Uddin was suspended until the end of the parliamentary session in 2012 and told to repay £125,349.10.
Lord Bhatia was sidelined for eight months and has already repaid more than £27,000.
Lord Paul was suspended for four months and has already returned £41,982.
The sanctions are the toughest imposed on misbehaving members for more than 300 years.
Lady Uddin and crossbencher Lord Bhatia were found to have acted "not in good faith" by incorrectly declaring their main homes in order to claim generous overnight allowances.
An initial investigation decided that Lord Paul had also acted "not in good faith" in his home designations.
However, the committee rejected this finding on appeal, accepting that although "utterly unreasonable" and "negligent", he had not been "dishonest" and had already returned £41,982 last year.
In Lady Uddin and Lord Bhatia's cases, the sanctions are significantly heavier than those meted out to Labour members Lord Truscott and Lord Taylor of Blackburn after a political lobbying scandal last year.
The pair were excluded for around six months and became the first to be suspended from the upper house since the 17th century.
The expenses abuses centre around the allowance of £174 a day that was, until recently, available to peers whose main home was outside the M25.
Lady Uddin claimed more than £100,000 between 2005 and 2010 by stating that her main residence was a small flat in Maidstone, Kent, rather than her family home in east London.
Lord Bhatia had claimed £27,446 in expenses on the basis that his main home was a small flat occupied by his brother in Reigate, Surrey, even though he and his wife were listed on the electoral roll at their long-standing address in Hampton, south-west London.
Lord Paul, a steel magnate and one of Britain's wealthiest men, lived in London but designated a one-bedroom flat in an Oxfordshire hotel that he owned as his main home.
All three also claimed travel expenses.
A Labour Party spokesman confirmed that Lord Paul had resigned his membership, while Lady Uddin had been suspended amid moves to expel her.
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination
- 3 Are you ready for Crazy Doritos, the red-hot snack food craze sweeping Mexico’s streets?
- 4 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
Isis in Kobani: US resupplies Kurdish fighters by plane - then Turkey allows reinforcements through its border
Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming street artist's identity has been revealed
Super-sized ships arrive in Britain: How big can they get?
Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunities for Secon...
£60 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunities for Seconda...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Java Developer...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Ilford: School Office/ Finance Assistant Long t...