Co-op peer cleared by Lords committee

Labour/Co-op peer Lord Moonie of Bennochy has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the House of Lords Privileges Committee after being caught up in a ‘sting’ operation by...

However, Lord Moonie, formerly Labour/Co-op MP for Kirkaldy and Defence Minister in Tony Blair’s administration, has been asked to apologise to the Lords for showing “an inappropriate attitude” to Parliamentary rules banning paid advocacy.

Two other Labour peers — Lord Truscott and Lord Taylor of Blackburn — face suspension from Parliament for six months after being found guilty of misconduct while a fourth peer, Lord Snape, was also cleared of wrongdoing, but has also been asked to apologise.

Lord Truscott, a former trade minister, and Lord Taylor were accused by the Sunday Times of being willing to change laws in exchange for cash.

Lord Taylor has been suspended as a Labour member pending further investigation and Lord Truscott has quit the party.

The reporters posed as lobbyists for a foreign retail firm which, they claimed, wanted to set up stores in the UK and get an exemption from business rates.

The police decided not to mount a criminal investigation into the case earlier this year, citing the difficulty of obtaining evidence among other factors.

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