Lords escape clampdown by standards committee

16 Nov 00
The Committee on Standards in Public Life has shied away from imposing sanctions on members of the House of Lords, and has instead suggested a voluntary register of interests, similar to that for MPs.

17 November 2000

Chaired by Lord Neill, the committee was considering changes necessary as a result of reform of the House of Lords, which recently saw the removal of the voting rights of 600 hereditary peers.

Rejecting the need for a full-time investigator similar to the Commons standards commissioner, Elizabeth Filkin, the committee wants to see the existing standards body, headed by three law lords, investigate any complaints.

The seventh report, Standards of Conduct in the House of Lords, published on November 16, does insist on tighter rules for peers.

The current voluntary register of interests should mirror that of the Commons, with more detailed information on directorships, shareholdings and other sources of income, according to the committee.

Neill said the committee had heard much evidence about the strength of the culture of personal honour in the Lords. Baroness Jay, the leader of the Lords, is expected to set up a working party to look at the issue of a compulsory register and a code of conduct.


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