The Leader of the House of Lords, Lord Hill of Oareford, confirmed in a statement today that the House of Lords Commissioner for Standards, Mr Paul Kernaghan, will investigate recent allegations about members of the House.
Lord Hill said:
‘My Lords, with the leave of the House, I should like to make a short statement. The whole House will have been disturbed and dismayed by the reports in the press over the weekend and today relating to the alleged misconduct of particular members of the House.
The Sub-Committee on Lords’ Conduct agreed earlier today to a request from the House of Lords Commissioner for Standards, Mr Paul Kernaghan, that he proceed to investigate the three members of this House against whom allegations have been made.
So I’m glad to say that independent, external investigation of these allegations is already in hand.
My Lords, to one extent – thanks to the Leader of the Opposition when she was Leader of this House – we are in a better position than in the past: for the last three years we have had in place a clear Code of Conduct to regulate our behaviour as members of this House; and we have also had an independent Commissioner for Standards, whose task it is to investigate whether there has been a breach of that Code.
I am pleased that the necessary preliminary steps to secure a proper investigation have already been taken. From this point, it is now over to the Commissioner, who will make his report on each case to the Sub-Committee on Lords’ Conduct.
My Lords, the allegations made at the weekend are very serious and distressing to us all. I know I speak for the Leaders of all the parties and the Convenor when I say they do not reflect the House I know and the members who work here out of a sense of public service, a desire to hold the government to account and to revise legislation: work for which we are rightly well-regarded and to which I suggest we now turn.’
Image: Lord Hill of Oareford - House of Lords 2013/Photography Roger Harris