Two peers suspended from the House of Lords after offering to do paid work for undercover reporters
Lord Mackenzie and Lord Laird both face temporary bans after being caught by Sunday Times journalists
Two peers are set to be banned from the House of Lords after undercover reporters recorded them offering to do paid parliamentary work.
The Lords Conduct Committee has recommended that the Labour peer Lord Mackenzie is suspended for six-months, while Ulster Unionist Lord Laird faces a four-month ban.
An investigation by The Sunday Times where reporters posed as consultants from a fictitious South Korean energy firm exposed the pair.
The peers discussed the creation of an all-party group on solar energy with the journalists.
In the Sunday Times report published last June, Lord Mackenzie also said he had devised a plan to get round the ban on members hosting parliamentary events for organisations in which they had a financial interest by getting another peer to do it for him.
Lord Laird was said to have told the paper's reporters that he swapped the task of asking parliamentary questions for paying clients with other peers.
In a separate investigation by the BBC Panorama programme and The Sunday Telegraph, undercover footage showed Lord Laird discussing setting up an all-party group on Fiji.
Lord Cunningham, a former Labour cabinet minister, who also featured in the Sunday Times report, was cleared of breaching the rules, as was former Labour minister Lord O'Neill, who was investigated by the paper but not included in its report.
All four referred themselves to the Lords Commissioner for Standards following the undercover investigation.
Lord Mackenzie said he was disappointed with the ruling and apologised for any “unwitting” breaches of the Lords Code of Conduct.
“There was no financial gain by me and all of this resulted from a 45-minute conversation which was not instigated by me,” he said.
He added he had learned a lesson from the “fraudulent interview” and said that he ended the conversation by asking the reporters to outline what they had discussed with him and that he would “consider it further”.
“I would suggest that this was not a request that would be made by someone intending to break the rules,” he said.
The Ulster Unionist Party leader Mike Nesbitt said the party leadership will reflect on the report from the Committee before deciding what happens after Lord Laird’s ban is lifted.
“This is a severe sanction, reflecting a very serious lapse in judgment by Lord Laird,” he said.
- 1 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 2 Expert urges cat lovers to own just one animal each
- 4 Yes, the iPhone 6 is a miracle, but it's Apple's tax affairs that deserve a double take
Sainsbury's '50p challenge' poster telling staff to encourage customers to spend more placed in shop window instead of staff room
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
Isis an hour away from Baghdad - with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
- < Previous
- Next >
Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE NQ to MID LEVEL - An e...
Highly Attractive Pakage: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - A highly attractive oppor...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (Campaigns, Offlin...
£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...