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Gay Labour Lord gets Web reprimand

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Controversial Labour Peer Lord Waheed Alli has been told off by the House of Lords for giving his Parliamentary office as a mailing address for a post on a new "gay dot-com" company. Waheed placed an ad in the Media Guardian in April for a CEO, offering 150,000 a year plus stock options.

It's against the gentlemanly rules to run a business from Parliament and so an unofficial reprimand was dished out. The convention is likely to become a rule next month.

Waheed said he had used the address because he feared of racist or homophobic attack. "Our advice has been that mail sent to us at the House of Lords is screened and checked by the police, and if you are in the gay arena, there has been some pretty horrific stuff that has come through. And with a gay dotcom it was felt that the best place to put it would be where my mail was security screened," he told The Guardian.

This isn't the first time he has raised the issue of race and homophobia - in October last year he upset the Lords by criticising behaviour in the House, saying he had been subjected to a long, dull story about India (although he has no links with the country - e's a sarf Londoner, innee) as well as other forms of discrimination because of his colour and open homosexuality.

Waheed is a new breed of Lords lifer. He is young, successful - he sold his Planet24 TV company to Carlton for 15 million in March 99 - and proudly gay. Tony Blair made him a life peer in 1998 along with a whole load of other buddies once he'd shipped out some of the old duffers with legislative reform. He looks in danger of dragging the Lords in the 20th (sic) Century. ®

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