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Jailed peer faces Lords suspension


Lord Taylor of Warwick has been jailed for 12 months for fiddling his expenses

Lord Taylor of Warwick has been jailed for 12 months for fiddling his expenses

Lord Taylor of Warwick has been jailed for 12 months for fiddling his expenses

A disgraced former Tory peer faces being suspended from the House of Lords after being jailed for 12 months for expenses fraud.

Lord Taylor of Warwick, 58, lied under oath during his trial in an attempt to cover up fraudulent claims of more than £11,000 in taxpayers' money, Southwark Crown Court heard.

He told the House of Lords members' expenses office that his main residence was a house in Oxford when he lived in west London.

The peer never stayed in, and only twice visited, the Oxford property, which was owned by the partner of his half-nephew, Robert Taylor. He was therefore not entitled to claim money from the Lords authorities for travelling from there to London and staying overnight in the capital.

Although successive ministers have proposed reforms so that errant peers could be expelled, there is no way of removing them other than passing an Act of Parliament.

But an investigation by the Clerk of the Parliaments is now expected to resume following the conclusion of the trial. It had been suspended during the police inquiry.

It is understood the Clerk of the Parliaments has asked the Commissioner for Standards to assist him in assessing the total amount wrongly claimed by Lord Taylor and the Commissioner will report his findings in due course.

The Clerk of the Parliaments will then present recommendations to the Committee for Privileges and Conduct.

A House of Lords spokeswoman said: "The Committee for Privileges and Conduct will consider these recommendations and report to the House as a whole what action it recommends should be taken, including whether a Member be suspended or be required to apologise to the House. It will be for the House as a whole to decide whether to take that action."

Passing sentence, Mr Justice Saunders said Lord Taylor had thrown away his many positive achievements in public life "not by one stupid action but by a protracted course of dishonesty".

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