ANNEX 1: Report from the Sub-Committee
on LordS' conduct |
1. The Commissioner for Standards has submitted the
attached report into the conduct of Lord Hanningfield.
2. In December 2013 the Daily Mirror published
articles about Lord Hanningfield spending short periods of time
on the parliamentary estate in July 2013 whilst claiming the daily
allowance. Following the articles a complaint was made to the
Commissioner for Standards alleging that Lord Hanningfield had
breached the House's rules on financial support for members, and
so breached the Code of Conduct.
3. The Commissioner's investigation focused on 11
days in July 2013 when Lord Hanningfield was on the parliamentary
estate for fewer than 40 minutes. On each of those days he claimed
£300. At issue was whether Lord Hanningfield had correctly
certified that he undertook parliamentary work on each of those
4. The Commissioner finds that Lord Hanningfield
did not undertake parliamentary work on those days and so finds
him in breach of paragraph 10(c) of the Code of Conduct (which
requires members to act in accordance with the House's rules on
financial support). The Commissioner finds that Lord Hanningfield
wrongly claimed £3,300 in daily allowance. The Commissioner
also finds that in making incorrect claims for daily allowance
Lord Hanningfield failed to act on his personal honour.
5. In accordance with paragraphs 129 and 130 of the
Guide to the Code of Conduct, our role has been to decide the
appropriate sanction to recommend.
6. We recommend that Lord Hanningfield be required
to repay to the House the £3,300 he wrongly claimed.
7. We consider the breaches of the Code of Conduct
by Lord Hanningfield to be so serious that suspension from the
service from the House is a necessary sanction.
In considering the length of the suspension to recommend, we have
taken account of all aspects of the case, as well as precedents
of when members have been suspended. We have also taken account
of the fact that Lord Hanningfield has already been suspended
from the service of the House for misuse of the previous system
of financial support.
We recommend that Lord Hanningfield be suspended from the service
of the House until the end of the current Parliament (which
is the maximum sanction available).
5 The House recently agreed two additional sanctions:
denial of access for a specified period to the system of financial
support for members, and denial of access for a specified period
to the facilities of the House. The report establishing the sanctions
provided that they would be available only in respect of misconduct
which took place after the report had been agreed by the House
(House Committee, Sanctions for Breaches of the Code of Conduct
(1st report, 2013-14, HL Paper 91), paragraph 4). The report
was agreed by the House in January 2014, but the misconduct in
this case occurred in July 2013. Therefore these new sanctions
are not available in this case. Back
In 2011 Lord Hanningfield was suspended from the House for nine
months for wrongly claiming £30,254.50 in night allowance.
See Committee for Privileges and Conduct, The Conduct of Lord
Hanningfield (9th report, 2010-12, HL Paper 211). He was imprisoned
for nine months for false accounting in respect of the same expenses
See Committee for Privileges, The powers of the House of Lords
in respect of its Members (1st report, 2008-09, HL Paper 87). Back