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17 House of Lords peers accused of pocketing £400k

The House of Lords expenses scandal deepened on Monday night as it emerged seventeen peers claimed tens of thousands of pounds each despite doing little work.

The members claimed a total of £424,637 in 2016 despite failing to speak, sit on a single committee or submit a written question.

Labour peer Lord Kirkhill was the worst offender, pocketing £43,896, followed by Scottish Labour member Baroness Adams on £41,287.

Seventeen members of the House of Lords managed to earn more than £10,000 each last year despite failing to speak, table a written question, or sit on a committee (file image)

The shocking figures were uncovered by the Daily Mirror, days after the paper also revealed 115 Lords claimed £1.5million last year despite failing to speak.

On that occasion a spokesman defended the Lords, saying they could contribute to the House in other ways, including by tabling a question or sitting on a committee.

Lords a-leeching 

  1. Lord Kirkhill, £43,896
  2. Baroness Adams, £41,287
  3. Lord Haworth, £36,150
  4. Lord Crathorne, £36,145
  5. Viscount Thurso, £32,235
  6. Lord Howie, £29,100
  7. Lord Evans, £27,000
  8. Viscount Colville, £25,500
  9. Lord Hameed, £23,400
  10. Lord Glentoran, £19,719
  11. Lord Whitby, £19,394
  12. Lord Davidson, £18,518
  13. Lord Gold, £17,700
  14. Lord Denham, £16,500
  15. Lord Jones, £14,128
  16. Lord Sanderson, £12,279
  17. Lord Plumb, £11,686


But it now transpires that 73 of those 115 also failed to do either of those things, including the group of 17 who earned more than £10,000 while doing so.

Alexandra Runswick, director of campaign group Unlock Democracy, said: ‘We need fundamental reform so the second chamber is accountable to the people.

Peers are entitled to claim a tax-free £300 daily allowance just for turning up to the chamber and are not obliged to speak in debates, attend committees or ask written questions.

Those who live outside London are also entitled to claim travel expenses for journeys to Westminster.

An earlier report found that more than £4million was claimed by the 277 peers – 36 per cent – who spoke five times or fewer in the past year.

Some £7.3million was claimed by 394 peers who spoke ten times or fewer, while 131 spoke and voted ten times or fewer but claimed £658,314.

Earlier this year it emerged that a Lords probe into peers who claim thousands but do not do any work was dropped amid fears of a public backlash. 

Baroness D’Souza spent months investigating peers who claim the daily allowance without making any contribution in the Upper House, but scrapped the research to avoid ‘naming and shaming’ offenders.  

A committee looking at cutting the size of the upper chamber is expected to recommend compulsory retirement for older members next month.


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