Feeds

Police drop investigation into 'rent-a-Lords'

Quivering peers brace for 'robust' treatment

The Metropolitan Police has ended its investigation into four peers - Lord Moonie, Lord Truscott, Lord Taylor of Blackburn and Lord Snape - in part because getting evidence was proving too difficult.

The four men were caught in a Sunday Times sting allegedly offering improper help to undercover journalists in exchange for cash. They were allegedly caught on tape claiming to be able to delay or even amend legislation for corporate lobbyists.

The story led to a flurry of updates to the Lords' Register of Interests and led credit agency Experian to end its relationship with Lord Taylor. The company said it was surprised to hear Lord Taylor's apparent description of the work he did for it. Lord Taylor claimed to have amended draft legislation in favour of the company. He said he was paid up to £100,000 a year for his help, which he described as cheap.

The LibDems referred the matter to the police who, after talking to the Crown Prosecution Service, have ended the probe.

A statement from the Metropolitan Police said: "the application of the criminal law to members of the House of Lords in the circumstances that have arisen here is far from clear. In addition, there are very clear difficulties in gathering and adducing evidence in these circumstances in the context of Parliamentary Privilege."

The Met said they had talked to the Leader of the House Baroness Royall of Blaisdon and were confident that the matter would be dealt with "robustly" by the Sub-Committee on Lords' Interests.

For the LibDems Chris Huhne said: "I can understand the difficulties facing the police given the unreformed and unclear state of the law on bribery, which is subject to recent reform proposals from the Law Commission.

"However, this is a disappointing decision because it is simply false to say that internal procedures will be able to deal with these cases, given that there is not even a mechanism for expelling miscreants."

In other news, complaints about Home Secretary Jacqui Smith's claim of £116,000 in allowances for a second home in Redditch have been rejected by the Parliamentary watchdog. Smith claimed her primary residence was a rented room in her sister's London house. ®

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.