Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland peer claimed £20k in expenses

By Suzanne Breen

A Northern Ireland-based peer claimed £19,700 in expenses in the House of Lords last year.

Lord Glentoran was named as one of 17 members who claimed almost £400,000 between them despite failing to speak, sit on a committee or submit a written question.

Lord Glentoran is Major Thomas Robin Valerian Dixon who sits as a Tory peer. He is a former Conservative shadow minister for the Olympics.

He lives with his wife Margaret in their family home, Drumadarragh House near Ballyclare.

The figures regarding expenses comes from an analysis of the records for the House of Lords by the Electoral Reform Society. The campaign group, Unlock Democracy, has said that peers being "paid for doing nothing is indefensible".

A Lords spokesman said: "Members can claim £300 or £150 for every day they attend the House and undertake parliamentary work. Apart from travel costs, this is the only payment peers receive."

The 82-year-old Eton educated-peer served with the Grenadier Guards for 12 years. He was granted leave from the Army to compete in the 1964 Winter Olympics at Innsbruck where he won a gold medal in the two-man bobsleigh.

Awarded an MBE the following year, he set up the Ulster Games Foundation in 1983 and was appointed chairman of the NI Tall Ships Council in 1987.

After leaving the Army in 1966, he entered the world of business. He was appointed high sheriff of Antrim in 1983.

Belfast Telegraph

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