House of Lords - Register of Lords' Interests Contents


By the Registrar of Lords' Interests

The Code of Conduct adopted by the House on 30 November 2009 established a new Register of Lords' Interests. The application of the Code is explained in the Guide to the Code adopted by the House on 30 March 2010. The Guide sets out that the purpose of the Register is "to assist in openness and accountability by enabling Members to make clear what are the interests that might be thought by a reasonable Member of the public to influence their actions, speeches or votes in Parliament, or actions taken in their capacity as Members of the House of Lords" and established the ten categories of registerable interest.

Publication and up-dating
This Register is printed and published in book form soon after the beginning of a new Parliament, and annually thereafter. The Code says that "Members are responsible for ensuring that their registered interests are accurate and up-to-date. They should register any change in their relevant interests within one month of the change." The Register in book form thus quickly goes out of date, so the Register is updated daily when the House is sitting, and is published online at This up-to-date online edition of the Register is also available in loose-leaf form for inspection by Members at the Table of the House, in the Table Office, and in the Library; and by the public in the Search Room of the Parliamentary Archives.

Relevant interests
The Guide explains that relevant interests may be financial or non-financial: "The key consideration in determining relevance in respect of both registration and declaration of an interest is that the interest might be thought by a reasonable member of the public to influence the way in which a Member of the House of Lords discharges his or her parliamentary duties. In the case of registration, this means the Member's parliamentary duties in general; in the case of declaration, his or her duties in respect of the particular matter under discussion. A "reasonable member of the public" is taken to mean an impartial and well-informed person, who judges all the relevant facts in an objective manner."

The Code says that a Member who acts on the advice of the Registrar in determining what is a relevant interest satisfies fully the requirements of the Code of Conduct in that regard. The final responsibility for deciding whether or not to participate in proceedings to which that interest is relevant rests however with the Member concerned.

Categories of registerable interests
The Guide establishes the following ten categories of registrable interest. The general threshold for financial interests is £500, subject to paragraphs 39-42 of the Guide and higher thresholds for specific categories.

    Category 1: Directorships
    Remunerated directorships in public and private companies, including non-executive directorships, and including directorships which are not directly remunerated, but where remuneration is paid through another company in the same group

    Category 2: Remunerated employment etc.
    Employment, office, trade, profession or vocation which is remunerated or in which the Member has any pecuniary interest

    Category 3: Public affairs advice and services to clients
    In respect of remunerated interests registered in categories 1 or 2, any provision to clients of public affairs advice and services.

    Category 4: Shareholdings
    Any shareholding either a) amounting to a controlling interest, or b) not amounting to a controlling interest, but exceeding £50,000 in value.

    Category 5: Land and property
    Any land or property a) which has a capital value of more than £250,000 (but excluding any personal residences of Members and their spouses), or b) from which an income of more than £5,000 a year is derived.

    Category 6: Sponsorship
    Any form of financial or material support received as a Member of the House of Lords, the value of which amounts to more than £500, from a single source, whether as a single donation, multiple donations, or services in kind.

    Category 7: Overseas visits
    Overseas visits made by the Member or the Member's spouse substantially arising out of membership of the House, except where the cost of the visit was wholly borne by the Member or by United Kingdom public funds.

    Category 8: Gifts, benefits and hospitality
    Any gift to the Member or the Member's spouse or partner, or any other material benefit, of a value greater than £500, from any company, organisation or person, within the UK or overseas, which relates substantially to membership of the House.

    Category 9: Miscellaneous financial interests
    Any relevant financial interest not falling within one of the above categories, but which might be thought by a reasonable member of the public to influence a Member's parliamentary conduct.

    Category 10: Non-financial interests
    Certain non-financial interests may reasonably be thought to affect the way Members of the House of Lords discharges their public duties, and must therefore be registered in this category. The following non-financial interests are always relevant and therefore must be registered:
      a)  Unremunerated directorships or other regular employment;
      b)  Membership of public bodies such as hospital trusts, the governing bodies of universities, colleges or schools, local authorities and other spheres of government;
      c)  Trusteeships of museums, galleries or similar bodies;
      d)  Acting as an office-holder or trustee in pressure groups or trade unions; and
      e)  Acting as an office-holder or trustee in voluntary or not-for-profit organisations.
    Other non-financial interests are not normally registered, though it may be necessary in certain circumstances to declare them.

Oversight and review
The operation of the Register is overseen by the Sub-Committee on Lords' Conduct. The Sub-Committee keeps the Guide to the Code of Conduct under regular review and reviews the Code of Conduct itself once each Parliament. The House itself must agree any change to either the Guide or Code.

Brendan Keith
Registrar of Lords' Interests
18 June 2010

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Prepared 23 June 2010