Labour Lolly Lords Suspended for 6 Months…

What was it they did again? Oh yeah – sold legislative amendments for personal gain, the Lords Privileges Committee has found. The thieving corrupt bastards. 6 month suspension? So what. Piano wire & gibbets.

Two peers to be suspended over cash for amendments scandal

Lord Taylor of Blackburn and Lord Truscott will be barred until the end of this session of Parliament – probably around six months – subject to a vote in the House next week.

Suspension will cost the peers access to tax-free allowances worth up to £335 a day.

The punishment would make them the first peers to be suspended since the time of Cromwell.

Suspension until the end of the session is the maximum penalty available to the committee and an indication of how seriously the misconduct is regarded.

Another Labour peer, Lord Snape, will be asked to apologise to the House. A fourth who was involved in the original allegations, Lord Moonie, has been cleared of wrongdoing.

Okay… so much for Blair & Broon’s House of Lords reforms.



Week 3 of the Labour Lords Lolly Imbroglio

And the thick plottens…. Lord Moonie seems to crop up all over the place…

POLICE have been asked to investigate the involvement of Lord Moonie, the Labour peer, in a company at the centre of a National Health Service fraud inquiry.

The former minister – one of four peers named in the “lords for hire” scandal – is a paid consultant to Americium Developments, a company being investigated by Scotland Yard.

It is alleged that Americium boasted about Moonie’s government links and friendship with Gordon Brown to secure business with CombineMed, a health firm that is cooperating with police inquiries. Moonie is paid up to £40,000 to act as a consultant to Americium, an Edinburgh-based information technology company.

Last week Campbell Martin, a former Scottish National party member of the Scottish parliament, wrote to the Metropolitan police asking detectives to investigate what, if anything, Moonie knew about the business activities of Americium. “Given the current police investigation into the actions of the company that pays him . . . Lord Moonie must disclose exactly what he does for them that justifies £40,000 per year,” he said.

And that’s not all… it seems he’s in bed with Darling too…

Alistair Darling accused of ‘doing a Jacqui Smith’

Alistair Darling took cheap lodgings with one of the peers at the centre of the ‘cash for amendments’ scandal while he was claiming nearly £20,000 a year in accommodation expenses.

Before he moved into his Downing Street apartment in 2007, the Chancellor was bedding down in a South London flat owned by Lord Moonie, one of four Lords accused last month of offering to influence legislation in exchange for money from lobbyists.

According to electoral roll records, Mr Darling rented the Kennington flat – which Lord Moonie bought from Gordon Brown in 1992 – between 2003 and 2006. Lord Moonie, who was also living there at the time, sold the flat for £265,000 in 2006.

During the time Mr Darling stayed there, a typical rent for that kind of accommodation in that area would be around £125 a week.

Over that three-year period, Mr Darling claimed £50,183 – an average of £321 a week – on his second-home allowance.

It’s like living in a fucking Turkish bath.


More Labour Lords lolly malarkey…

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.


Labour Lords Trade Lolly for Laws…

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.