Lords Commissioner for Standards publishes report

13 June 2013

The House of Lords Committee for Privileges and Conduct has today published reports from the independent Lord Commissioner for Standards into the conduct of Lord Dannatt and Lord Stirrup.

The independent Lords Commissioner for Standards, Paul Kernaghan CBE QPM, investigated Lord Dannatt and Lord Stirrup and cleared them of breaching the Lords Code of Conduct.

The investigations followed articles in The Sunday Times which alleged that Lord Dannatt and Lord Stirrup (and other retired senior military officers) used their influence within the Ministry of Defence to lobby on behalf of commercial interests.

The Commissioner makes clear in each report (paragraph 6) that his investigations are limited to 'whether or not [Lord Dannatt/Stirrup] breached the Code of Conduct, not his remarks or behaviour on other matters'.

The Commissioner’s finding for each case is:

Lord Dannatt:

'I reiterate that my role is to investigate allegations of breaches of the Code of Conduct and not to police members’ non-parliamentary activities. I have not found any evidence that Lord Dannatt breached the Code of Conduct. The only references to the House of Lords in the transcript are limited to briefings arranged by ministers and visits by the serving Chiefs of Staff. Lord Dannatt made no claims of using his position as a member to exercise parliamentary influence for personal gain. Nor did he offer to provide parliamentary advice or services. He entered into no relationship which gave rise to an interest which had to be registered. Equally, there is no evidence that he had failed to register any other defence-related interest. Thus, I dismiss this complaint against Lord Dannatt.'

Lord Stirrup:

'I reiterate that my role is to investigate allegations of breaches of the Code of Conduct and not to police members’ non-parliamentary activities. I have not found any evidence that Lord Stirrup breached the Code of Conduct. Indeed, he volunteers to the journalists that an interest of the type they were discussing would have to be entered in the Register of Lords’ Interests. The only references to the House of Lords in the transcript are limited to Lord Stirrup making it clear that questions should not be asked in pursuit of a specific interest. He then goes on to give his frank views on the merits of parliamentary questions in eliciting information. Lord Stirrup made no claims about using his position as a member to exercise parliamentary influence for personal gain. Nor did he offer to provide parliamentary advice or services. He entered into no relationship which gave rise to an interest which had to be registered. Thus, I dismiss this complaint against Lord Stirrup.'

Both reports are available from the Committee for Privileges and Conduct.

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