Lords watchdog investigates Earl of Shrewsbury over financial rules

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The House of Lords commissioners for standards have launched an investigation into a second Conservative peer for allegedly breaching the rules against peers profiting financially from their membership of the Lords.

The investigation into the Earl of Shrewsbury, an elected hereditary Conservative peer who has been a member of the Lords for 41 years, has been announced by the standards commissioners on their website.

The rules alleged to have been breached by the earl, whose full name is Charles Henry John Benedict Crofton Chetwynd Chetwynd-Talbot, are the same as those over which his fellow Tory peer Michelle Mone is also under investigation.

They include the requirements in the Lords code of conduct that members “must not seek to profit from membership of the house” by being rewarded for providing parliamentary services or advice; that they must register and declare all relevant interests, and they must not seek to benefit “by parliamentary means” any outside organisation in which they have an interest or in return for payment.

The investigation into Mone relates to her alleged involvement in procuring £203m PPE contracts for a company, PPE Medpro. She has denied wrongdoing.

He inherited his place in 1981, and was then elected in 1999 to serve as a Conservative hereditary peer. He has registered interests as a director in several companies, and runs his own company, Talbot Consulting.

No details have been released about the substance of the commissioners’ investigation. A spokesperson for the Lords said: “At this stage information on this investigation remains confidential until it is completed and a report published. There isn’t any further information we can add other than what appears on the website at present.”

The earl told the Guardian he was unable to comment. “The commission have told me that [if]I speak to anyone about their investigation I will be in contempt of parliament. Apologies but my hands are tied,” he said.

Source: The Guardian

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