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DUP nominee to House of Lords rejected by sleaze watchdog

Published 28/08/2015

A watchdog rejected a DUP nominee for the House of Lords
A watchdog rejected a DUP nominee for the House of Lords

A DUP nominee to the House of Lords was among seven individuals rejected by a sleaze watchdog set up to vet prospective peers.

The House of Lords Appointments Commission said five Conservative nominees and one Liberal Democrat were also judged unsuitable to take a seat in the upper chamber.

The commission's vetting programme considers whether individuals' past behaviour could be seen to bring the Lords into disrepute and whether they are of "good standing in the community and with the public regulatory authorities".

Although it does not have a veto, none of its assessments has yet been overruled.

The DUP nominee has not yet been named publicly.

David Laws, who quit as Treasury chief secretary and was suspended from the Commons for seven days in 2010 over breaches of expenses rules, was the Lib Dem who failed the vetting process.

Parties have the chance to replace rejected candidates with substitutes but the DUP did not seek a replacement.

A total of 45 people are joining the upper chamber in the dissolution list - with 26 Conservatives, 11 Liberal Democrats and eight Labour party new peers.

The seven-strong commission, set up in 2000, is chaired by non-party peer Lord Kakkar and includes a peer from each of the Tories, Labour and the Lib Dems - including ex-Conservative leader Lord Howard - and three non-party political members.

Candidates for a peerage also have to supply guarantees that they are resident in the UK for tax purposes, have no conflicting roles and give information about their donations and financial links to the party.

When vetting donors, the commission considers whether an individual "could have been a credible nominee if he or she had made no financial contribution" to the party putting them forward.

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