All About Parliament
Case Study – Cash for Amendments 2009
In January 2009, four members of the House of Lords (known as peers) – Lord Truscott, Lord Snape, Lord Taylor of Blackburn and Lord Moonie – were part of an undercover investigation by the Sunday Times. They were all members of the Labour Party.
The paper claimed its reporters had made contact with the men, pretending to be lobbyists acting for a company that wanted help getting an exemption from laws on business rates.
The paper alleged that all four of the men had offered to help make amendments to legislation for up to £120,000.
When this became public, a committee within the House of Lords investigated the men.
They found that Lord Taylor and Lord Truscott had breached the Lords Code of Conduct by failing to “act on their personal honour”. But Lord Snape and Lord Moonie were cleared of any wrongdoing and returned to their work.
After the ruling, Lord Taylor and Lord Truscott became the first members of the House of Lords to be suspended since Viscount Savile in 1642. The Viscount was suspended for sympathizing with King Charles I during the early stages of the English Civil Wars.