Or so undercover reporters for the Sunday Times are reporting today.
LABOUR peers are prepared to accept fees of up to £120,000 a year to amend laws in the House of Lords on behalf of business clients, a Sunday Times investigation has found.
Four peers — including two former ministers — offered to help undercover reporters posing as lobbyists obtain an amendment in return for cash.
Two of the peers were secretly recorded telling the reporters they had previously secured changes to bills going through parliament to help their clients.
Lord Truscott, the former energy minister, said he had helped to ensure the Energy Bill was favourable to a client selling “smart” electricity meters. Lord Taylor of Blackburn claimed he had changed the law to help his client Experian, the credit check company.
Taylor told the reporters: “I will work within the rules, but the rules are meant to be bent sometimes.”
The other peers who agreed to assist our reporters for a fee were Lord Moonie, a former defence minister, and Lord Snape, a former Labour whip.
Well… if cash for questions fucked the Tories, then surely lolly for laws will cause significant damage to the already terminal carcass that is this Labour government.
Unsurprisingly, the BBC are putting a rather less dramatic spin on it….
‘Concern’ over peers cash claims
The leader of the House of Lords says she will pursue allegations four peers were prepared to accept cash to change laws.
And there’s been ‘right-of-reply’ there…
The former energy minister Lord Truscott did admit to having had "discussions" with the reporter, but told the BBC that "to suggest I would offer to put down amendments for money is a lie".
Lord Moonie, a former defence minister, told the BBC that he had been suspicious of the people who had approached him.
He acknowledged discussing a fee of £30,000 with the undercover reporters but said: "I am not aware of having offered to do anything for these people that was outside the rules."
He went on to say that any arrangement would have been based on a written contract and would have involved advising them on how to get amendments to legislation – but he would have been acting strictly as an adviser and consultant.
A third peer, Lord Taylor of Blackburn, said two people approached him claiming to work for a lobbying firm and looking for help with a bill they wanted amending.
He said they suggested paying him £5,000 to £10,000 a month as an adviser but he never said he would accept, no contract was signed and no money changed hands.
Asked about his alleged suggestion that the rules could be "bent", he said: "’Bent’ to me means you will try to persuade the bureaucracy of the House to change them."
Aye. Fuckin’. Right. Mandelson’s only been in the Lords for five minutes, and already half of them are bent now.
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