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House of Lords: Conduct of Members

Volume 707: debated on Wednesday 11 February 2009


My Lords, on 29 January, I made an announcement to the House informing Members of a number of issues in relation to allegations originally made earlier that week by the media about certain Members of this House. I undertook then to keep the House informed of any developments in relation to the allegations. I am now in a position to do so.

It may be helpful to update the House on developments on the referrals which have been made to the police in relation to these and other allegations. I informed the House in my earlier Statement that the Metropolitan Police Service had received a request to consider investigating whether an offence had been committed by certain Members of this House. I told the House that police had considered this request and had decided to review the relevant material to assist them in deciding whether it would be appropriate to carry out an investigation. The police subsequently received a second and similar request from the same source, a Member of the other place, in respect of certain other Members of this House. I have met the Metropolitan Police further on this matter and they have now informed me of their decision not to take their inquiries further. The police will therefore not mount an investigation into these issues or into any Members of this House in relation to the allegations originally made by the Sunday Times newspaper. The police have also considered the issues in relation to other Members of this House which were referred to them by the original complainant. They have decided not to take further any inquiries in relation to the second referral. In both cases, however, the police are making clear that should any further evidence or information become known, they will of course have a duty to review their decision.

I take this opportunity to pay tribute to the Members of this House for the way they have continued with the work of this House during what has unquestionably been a very difficult period. Throughout the past few weeks, the work of the House has continued, scrutinising legislation, debating key issues, questioning Ministers and holding the Government to account. For us on all sides of the House, these are our tasks—that is our function and that is our job. I am proud to say of the House that we have continued to do our job and that we will continue to do our job.

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