A former Tory minister could miss out on a peerage after being implicated in a Brexit lobbying storm.
Ex-trade secretary Peter Lilley was secretly filmed allegedly offering to approach key ministers on behalf of a Chinese company.
He is accused of playing up his influence, saying he attended two advisory groups with influence over Brexit ministers.
Ex-trade secretary Peter Lilley (pictured with his wife Gail) was secretly filmed allegedly offering to approach key ministers on behalf of a Chinese company
Former health secretary Lord Lansley and former chief whip Andrew Mitchell were also caught up in the investigation by the Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches. Lord Lansley was filmed allegedly offering to use his Westminster connections to provide ‘intelligence’ on Brexit.
According to the investigation, Mr Lilley, 74, boasted to an undercover reporter that he was in line for a peerage in the next round of appointments. However, the Leader of the House of Lords cast doubt on this yesterday.
Asked whether Mr Lilley would be removed from the list, Baroness Evans said: ‘I’m not privy to information about who may or may not be joining the Lords.
‘But what I can say is we have a strong code of conduct, we have some very clear rules around what lords are able to do, we have a register of interests.’
Lord Lansley (pictured), 61, is accused of offering to pick up information from a key Brexit cabinet minister in exchange for tens of thousands of pounds
Mr Lilley, who stepped down as an MP last year, denies trying to stop Channel 4 airing the investigation. The programme was due to be broadcast last Monday, but was shown last night instead.
Lord Lansley, 61, is accused of offering to pick up information from a key Brexit cabinet minister in exchange for tens of thousands of pounds. He also advised how the deal could be kept secret from the authorities by employing him through his wife’s company, it was claimed. Talking up what he could do for the potential Chinese clients, he mentioned that the Prime Minister attended his wedding.
Mr Mitchell also appeared happy to give paid Brexit advice to the Chinese company – although he claimed he was suspicious of the approach. He said he charged £6,000 a day and disclosed that he was looking to work for up to ten weeks a year for private clients, despite being on £74,962 as an MP. ‘My constituents don’t mind what I’m paid,’ he said on the film.
He later said he had enlisted the help of MI5, fearing parliament was being targeted by foreign agents. Sir Alistair Graham, the former chairman of the committee on standards in public life, said last night: ‘To take advantage of this difficult time and confusion to make extra money doesn’t demonstrate a great deal of concern for the public interest.’
Andrew Mitchell (pictured) was also caught up in the investigation by the Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches
Sir Alistair described Mr Mitchell as a ‘four-day-a-week MP’ who was giving private clients ‘too big a chunk of his working life’.
Mr Lilley said he had not been asked and nor did he agree to have private conversations with any ministers on behalf of the bogus Chinese company.
Lord Lansley issued a statement saying he always kept his outside interests separate from his Lords duties and did not provide privileged information.
Mr Mitchell said all his outside interests were fully declared on the Commons register, adding: ‘I abide by the letter and spirit of the rules governing the business.’
A Channel 4 spokesman said: ‘We have been clear that those featured maintain they have not breached the code on parliamentary standards.’