My Lords, I promised the House to update it on developments in the investigation into allegations made by the Sunday Times newspaper earlier this year against a number of Members of this House. I will continue to do so as appropriate.
Noble Lords may have seen media reports at the weekend and this morning purporting to reveal the conclusions of the inquiry into the investigations that has been carried out by the Sub-Committee on Lords’ Interests chaired by the noble Baroness, Lady Prashar. I am aware that these reports caused considerable concern to Members of this House. Like them, I utterly deplore such speculation and urge the media to resist repeating it until the process adopted by this House is complete.
I make no comment on the accuracy or lack of accuracy of these reports. Both the House authorities and my office made it clear to the Sunday Times, which originated these reports, and to other media organisations that we would make no comment on such speculation and that the process of examining these allegations was not yet complete. While the process is under way, it is of course the case that the Members concerned are and remain full Members of this House. When the process is complete, the report of the Committee for Privileges and of the sub-committee will be published and available to Members and to the wider public, including the media. The House will then have the opportunity to debate the report. While this process is under way, I urge all sides, both within this House and beyond it, to refrain from speculation, whether in public or in private. Members of this House and the procedures of this House deserve nothing less.