Belfast Telegraph

House of Lords dismisses complaint against Lord Kilclooney

The House of Lords has announced it will not be taking further action over a tweet from Lord John Kilclonney in which he referred to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar as a "typical Indian".

The life peer, who is no longer a member of the UUP, was responding to a report on a visit by Mr Varadkar to Northern Ireland.

The tweet was in response to a link to a story by BBC Newsline about the DUP criticising Leo Varadkar for the unannounced nature of his trip to Northern Ireland.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the House of Lord Commissioner for Standards said: "The Commissioner received a complaint alleging a breach of the Code of Conduct by Lord Kilclooney.

"The Commissioner considered the complaint as part of an initial assessment but dismissed it without opening a formal investigation as a member’s opinion, or the way they express themselves, does not fall within the scope of the Code.”

The relevant clause of the House of Lords Code of Conduct states matters outside the Commissioner's remit include "policy matters or a member's views or opinions".

One of the five complainants to the House of Lords was East Londonderry MLA John Dallat.

Responding to the news there would be no further action against Lord Kilclooney, Mr Dallat said: "The remarks made by Lord Kilclooney at a time when racism is on the rise were both unfortunate and highly regrettable.

“While Mr Taylor removed the remarks he did not apologise and so we must assume he thinks such language in this day in age is appropriate, and that is unacceptable.

“To receive a letter from some as important as the Commissioner for Standards telling me they will not investigate John Taylor’s remarks raises many questions. What does a member of the House of Lords need to do to merit investigation."

Mr Varadkar was born in Ireland to a father from India and a mother from Ireland.

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