Police urged to probe peer cash claims

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Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2008 5:20 pm

PostMon Jan 26, 2009 7:11 am » by 7hidden7agenda7

So there you go! :rtft:

>>>Police urged to probe peer cash claims
11 hours 29 mins ago
The Liberal Democrats are calling for a police investigation into allegations four Labour peers agreed to accept cash in return for influencing new legislation.
Concern over peers cash claims
Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne called on police to nto a report that four members of the House of Lords told undercover reporters from the Sunday Times they would be willing to work behind the scenes to secure amendments for business clients in return for fees of up to £120,000 a year.
Labour's leader in the Lords, Baroness Royall, described the allegations as "very grim" and said she would carry out her own investigation.
The upper house's Committee on Lords' Interests is expected to launch a probe on Monday in response to complaints from Lib Dem MP Norman Baker.
The four peers - Lord Truscott of St James, Lord Taylor of Blackburn, Lord Snape and Lord Moonie - deny any wrongdoing.
But the newspaper claims it has secretly recorded tapes of Lord Truscott and Lord Taylor boasting that they had previously secured changes to bills going through Parliament to help clients.
Mr Huhne said: "If these allegations are confirmed, they are not merely a breach of the Lords' own rules but are surely also against the law on corrupt practices. Ex-ministers should not be touting themselves like taxi drivers for hire."
The House of Lords Code of Conduct states that peers "must never accept any financial inducement as an incentive or reward for exercising parliamentary influence".
But the newspaper said the four peers were ready to negotiate fees to help a fictitious Hong Kong businessman who wanted to set up a chain of shops in the UK and was looking for changes to the Business Rate Supplements Bill.
The paper said Lord Taylor agreed to work "behind the scenes" to try to ensure the bill was amended and negotiated a £120,000 annual fee.
Lord Taylor said he was approached by two people claiming to work for a lobbying firm who offered to take him on as an adviser at a fee of between £5,000 and £10,000 a month.
"It was their suggestion, not my suggestion," he said. "I never said I would accept it."
No contract was signed and no money changed hands, he said.
Lady Royall told the BBC: "These people were entrapped. If it is true, it is a very grim picture, but we do have to look into the details very carefully... Clearly it looks very serious, but I am concerned that everybody's side of the story should be heard."
If they were found to have broken the rules of the Upper House, they could be "named and shamed" in the Lords, but cannot be expelled from Parliament, she said.<<<
Expedite Your Imminent Demise. Or Die Trying!

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