Via Guido, the Sunday Herald – some kind of porridge based news outlet – tells us that a Labour Lord has been accused of taking cash for asking questions in the house, addition to his being on the hook in the ‘Lolly for Laws’ scandal a couple of weeks ago.
The Sunday Herald has established that around half the parliamentary questions tabled by Lord Moonie, a close friend of prime minister Gordon Brown, relate to areas of commercial interest to US-based Northrop Grumman Corporation.
Last week, the former defence minister and Kirkcaldy MP was accused of being one of four Labour lords ready to accept money in return for helping amend legislation. Moonie, 61, said he would make introductions in return for £30,000 a year.
Now an investigation by this newspaper has found that 23 of the 46 written questions Moonie has had answered by the government in the Lords relate to defence work connected to Northrop Grumman Corp. These include the F35 joint strike fighter, the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Airbus A400M cargo plane, the Navy’s Type 45 destroyer programme, and unmanned aerial drones for spying and bombing.
Moonie also asked a question about the Sentry Awacs early-warning aircraft. In 2005 Northrop Grumman won a £665 million contract to maintain and support the Royal Air Force’s Awacs fleet over 20 years.
Moonie was ennobled in 2005 but did not ask any parliamentary questions in his first three years as a peer, according to Hansard. But since mid-2008 he has asked almost 50, all on defence issues.
Lovely, lovely, sticky, sticky mud.