Expenses Scandal: Peers face suspension

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Baroness Uddin, Lord Paul and Lord Bhatia face Lords ban

THREE peers have been told they could face lengthy suspensions from parliament after an inquiry found they had falsely claimed tens of thousands of pounds in expenses.

Baroness Uddin, Britain’s first Muslim peer, Lord Paul and Lord Bhatia were the focus of an investigation by the House of Lords Privileges and Conduct Committee over claims they had acquired expenses they were not entitled too.

Baroness Uddin falsely claimed more than £125,000 in expenses, Lord Bhattia over £27,000, and Lord Paul more than £41,000.

In a damning judgment the House of Lords Privileges and Conduct Committee said Labour peer Baroness Uddin had not acted in good faith by incorrectly designating her main home in order to claim overnight allowances totalling £125,349.10.

The committee recommended she be suspended from the upper chamber until the end of the parliamentary session in Easter 2012.

Lord Bhatia, who earlier this month repaid £27,446, was told he faces a suspension of eight months after the privileges committee found he “did not act in good faith.”

 acted in good faith” in his home designations.

However, the committee rejected this finding on appeal, accepting that although “utterly unreasonable”, he had not been “dishonest”, and had already returned £41,982 last year. It recommended he be suspended for four months.

Peers will vote later this week on whether to accept the recommendations.

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