Former Lord Speaker admits dropping inquiry into peers’ allowance claims

The Guardian:

An investigation that revealed members of the House of Lords clocking in to claim their £300 daily allowance without doing any parliamentary work was dropped to avoid a “press storm”, a former Lord Speaker has admitted.

Frances D’Souza said that, despite identifying peers involved in the practice during a months-long investigation, she wanted to avoid naming and shaming individuals.

“What I wanted to find out in the research that I did a few months ago was who was attending and what they were claiming, and even though it is very difficult to quantify there are some who make no contribution whatsoever but who nevertheless claim the full amount,” Lady D’Souza said in BBC2’s Meet the Lords.

“This is not a daycare centre or a club, it is actually a legislative house, and I do firmly believe that the people who attend ought to be able to be in a position to contribute.”

She added: “I abandoned this research because it would have involved a degree of naming and shaming, which I certainly didn’t want to do. But also that would in turn have provoked some kind of sort of a press storm, which clearly I didn’t wish to to do.”