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House of Lords: Conduct of Members

Volume 707: debated on Thursday 29 January 2009


My Lords, on Monday I answered a Private Notice Question on matters arising from the allegations made by the Sunday Times this week about certain Members of this House. I want today to update the House on these issues.

The Sub-Committee on Lords’ Interests, chaired by the noble Baroness, Lady Prashar, has now met and its investigations into the allegations are under way. The sub-committee is dealing with these issues as a matter of urgency. In parallel, the Committee for Privileges is considering issues relating to the rules of the House. It may be helpful to update the House on developments on a complaint which has been made to the police in relation to the allegations.

On Monday, the Metropolitan Police service received a request to consider investigating whether an offence had been committed by certain Members of the House. The police have considered this request, and they have now decided to review the relevant material in this matter to assist them in deciding whether it would be appropriate to carry out an investigation.

I have met the Metropolitan Police on this matter and they have informed me of their decision. I should stress that the police are not investigating this matter at this stage. The police are reviewing the material in relation to the allegations to decide whether such an investigation would be appropriate.

While the police are carrying out this review, it remains appropriate for the Sub-Committee on Lords’ Interests to continue with its inquiry. The chairman of the sub-committee is aware of the police decision.

I am sure that the House will appreciate that at this point there is nothing further that I can add to this statement. I shall, of course, continue to keep the House informed of developments in relation to these allegations.