The conduct of Lord Hanningfield - Privileges Committee Contents


ANNEX 2: REPORT FROM THE COMMISSIONER FOR STANDARDS


Summary of the complaint

1. On 17 December 2013 the Daily Mirror published a series of articles headlined "The Lord's a-leeching", "The Louse of Lords" and "I know 50 others Lords doing this … 50 that I could name" (appendix A). The articles alleged that in July 2013 Lord Hanningfield had incorrectly claimed the daily allowance by repeatedly "clocking in for a few minutes" at the House of Lords and then leaving the Palace of Westminster.

2. On the same day I received a letter of complaint from John Mann MP (appendix B). Mr Mann drew attention to the coverage in the Daily Mirror and requested that I investigate Lord Hanningfield's behaviour. I conducted a preliminary assessment of the complaint and was satisfied that it merited investigation. I wrote to Lord Hanningfield on 18 December 2013 (appendix C), advising him that I was investigating his behaviour and drew his attention to the following provisions of the 2010 Code of Conduct:

    "7. In the conduct of their parliamentary duties, Members of the House shall base their actions on consideration of the public interest, and shall resolve any conflict between their personal interest and the public interest at once, and in favour of the public interest.

    8. Members of the House:

(a)  must comply with the Code of Conduct;

(b)  should act always on their personal honour; …

    9. Members of the House of Lords should observe the seven general principles of conduct identified by the Committee on Standards in Public Life. These principles being taken into consideration when any allegation of breaches of the provisions in other sections of the Code is under investigation.

    10. In order to assist in openness and accountability Members shall: …

(c) act in accordance with any rules agreed by the House in respect of financial support for Members or the facilities of the House."

I drew attention to the first of the seven general principles of conduct:

    "(a) Selflessness: Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends."

I also sent Lord Hanningfield a copy of the Guide to financial support for members (February 2013).

3. The complaint against Lord Hanningfield alleging that he breached the rules on financial support for members was the first to be made under the current financial support regime.

4. I wrote to the Editor of the Daily Mirror on 18 December 2013 requesting that he supply me with copies of all relevant material in connection with the surveillance carried out on Lord Hanningfield. On 15 January 2014 the requested material was supplied (appendix D).[8] I am grateful for the co-operation of the Daily Mirror.

5. On 20 January 2014 Lord Hanningfield supplied me with a written response (appendix E). I interviewed Lord Hanningfield on 13 February 2014 and supplied him with a copy of the transcript of that interview (appendix F). On 25 February 2014 Lord Hanningfield made a further submission, and included material relating to his expenditure and work undertaken as a peer (appendix G). I wrote to Lord Hanningfield seeking clarification on some matters arising from his second submission (appendix H); Lord Hanningfield responded on 4 March 2014 (appendix I).

  1. My investigation was based solely on the documented evidence in this case. However, I draw attention to the fact that in 2011 I investigated Lord Hanningfield and found that he had incorrectly claimed for overnight subsistence (under the previous financial support scheme).[9]

Key facts

Allegations in the Daily Mirror

7. The Daily Mirror articles were based on surveillance by that newspaper of Lord Hanningfield in July 2013. The newspaper had a reporter based at Lord Hanningfield's local railway station, Ingatestone in Essex, who noted his movements at the station. Another reporter was based at Westminster underground station, who photographed Lord Hanningfield entering and leaving the parliamentary estate, noting the times.

8. My investigation was limited to the allegations of inappropriate claims made by Lord Hanningfield in respect of July 2013. In that month the House of Lords sat for 20 days. Lord Hanningfield submitted a claim for daily allowance and travel expenses for 19 of those days.[10] On all 19 of those days he claimed a daily allowance of £300, as well as a return railway journey from Ingatestone to Westminster.[11] His total claim for daily allowance in July 2013 was £5,700.

9. The newspaper articles alleged that on 11 days in July 2013 Lord Hanningfield was on the parliamentary estate for fewer than 40 minutes. Those dates and times were:

  • 1 July: on the parliamentary estate for 28 minutes
  • 3 July: 38 minutes
  • 4 July: 36 minutes
  • 8 July: 34 minutes
  • 9 July: 27 minutes
  • 10 July: 27 minutes
  • 16 July: 24 minutes
  • 18 July: 26 minutes
  • 22 July: 34 minutes
  • 23 July: 21 minutes
  • 29 July: 33 minutes.

10. My investigation focuses on the 11 dates listed above.[12] The timings are from the moment Lord Hanningfield left Westminster underground station via the entrance to the parliamentary estate (at the House of Commons end), to his reappearance in the underground station. At a normal pace the walk from the underground station to the chamber of the House of Lords should take around five minutes; with a return walk that would mean around 10 minutes would be taken walking to and from the chamber, at a normal pace. In his submission to me Lord Hanningfield referred to how he was walking slowly that month,[13] which indicates that he might have taken longer than 10 minutes to walk to and from the station.

System of financial support for members

11. The current system of financial support for members has been in place since October 2010. It was established following significant media and public concern about the previous system, in which there was a series of allowances, some dependent on where members designated as their main residence. The current system was introduced after extended deliberation, involving a report by the Review Body on Senior Salaries (SSRB),[14] a report by an ad hoc group of members of the House,[15] debates in the House and consideration by the House Committee.

12. The result of that deliberation was that the previous allowances were merged into a single daily allowance. This "would be expected to cover the associated costs of attendance, such as secretarial support or meals and taxis in the course of a member's parliamentary duties."[16] The daily allowance was set at £300, but provision was made for members to claim a reduced rate of £150 "where they consider it appropriate",[17] or to make no claim. The allowance was introduced by way of a resolution of the House;[18] detailed rules and guidance on the financial support system was set out on in a House Committee report which was agreed by the House.[19]

13. In order to claim the daily allowance, two conditions must be fulfilled.

14. First, the member must attend a sitting of the House or a committee at Westminster. This may involve attending a sitting of the chamber when formal business is taking place, a sitting of the Grand Committee, a meeting of a select committee or a sub-committee, or voting in a division.[20] No guidance is given as to how long the attendance must be for. In introducing the new scheme the House Committee discussed the requirement for attendance:

    "It is difficult to arrive at specific criteria for measurement of a member's contribution to the work of the House. Every review body which has considered the issue has seen attendance at the House or a select committee as the best indicator which can be applied fairly to all members. Much parliamentary work is by necessity carried out outside the chamber; and we recognise too that many members carry out parliamentary work independently of the House and during recesses and at weekends. We take the view that financial support for members should continue to be based on attendance as its core criterion."[21]

15. It is not in dispute that Lord Hanningfield attended the House on the 11 dates concerned in July 2013, albeit briefly. The issue therefore arises with the second condition.

16. The second condition for claiming the daily allowance is that the member certifies that "that they are receiving the allowance in respect of parliamentary work."[22] The relevant claim form[23] therefore requires the member completing it to certify that:

    "any travel claimed was for the purpose of attending the House or a committee of the House and that I have undertaken parliamentary work on the dates specified and claim the allowances/expenses for the month stated. I also certify that the travel expenses are not reclaimed from any other source."

Lord Hanningfield certified his claims for July 2013 in the required format.

17. No indication of what constitutes "parliamentary work" was given by the House Committee; as quoted above, it recognised that it can cover a wide range of activity. The SSRB report stated, "One of the key themes to emerge from the evidence we received is how much work is done away from the chamber and committees, for example at all-party parliamentary group meetings, in party meetings, meetings with people with particular knowledge of a policy, and research work in the library and members' offices."[24] Although there is no guidance on what constitutes parliamentary work, is clear that there is a requirement for there to be some parliamentary work: a member must do something to justify claiming the allowance.

18. It is evidently parliamentary work to engage in parliamentary proceedings. The record shows that in July 2013 Lord Hanningfield did not speak in the House or in a Grand Committee. He did not attend a select committee meeting, table a written question,[25] table an amendment nor vote in a division.[26] It can therefore be said that any work Lord Hanningfield did on the 11 days in July 2013 did not involve active participation in parliamentary proceedings. Any parliamentary work he undertook must have involved work other than speaking, voting, tabling business or attending a committee meeting.

19. In my opinion, if a member is on the parliamentary estate for less than 40 minutes—indeed, if after as little as 21 minutes the member concerned turns round and goes home—and has not participated in parliamentary proceedings it is reasonable to presume that the member is unlikely to have undertaken parliamentary work on the parliamentary estate that day. One therefore has to examine whether the member might have undertaken parliamentary work off the parliamentary estate.

Lord Hanningfield's reasons for claiming

20. In his interview with and submissions to me Lord Hanningfield gave a number of reasons for claiming the full daily allowance on each of those 11 days. Some of those reasons overlap, but I will try to deal with them separately.

21. The first reason Lord Hanningfield gave was that he perceives his role as a member of the House of Lords (to use his description, as a "working peer") to be a full-time commitment. In our interview he spoke about how his life changed when he became a peer, and that he works every day. His view was that his full-time commitment was financially facilitated by means of the daily allowance, which could be obtained only by attending the House: "I still see myself as a working peer and attendance in the House, to some extent, is incidental to that."[27] Lord Hanningfield stressed that he could claim the £300 daily allowance only 100 times a year,[28] so that his annual recompense is about £30,000.[29] In answer to a question from me, Lord Hanningfield said he viewed approximately £30,000 claimed in allowances as a de facto salary.[30]

22. I recognise that the majority of members of the House work extremely hard and that for some the daily allowance is their sole source of income, so it may be reasonable for them to consider it a de facto salary. However, the rules require members to certify that they have undertaken parliamentary work on the day for which an attendance allowance claim is made. In this case I must determine whether on the 11 days in July 2013 Lord Hanningfield complied with that requirement by undertaking parliamentary work on those days. His view of his overall workload and the scheme in general are, to that extent, immaterial. If he undertook parliamentary work on those days, he complied with the scheme; if he did not undertake parliamentary work, he did not comply with the scheme.

23. The second reason Lord Hanningfield gave for his claims was that in July 2013 he had been eligible to attend the House for only a few months after his release from prison and the end of his suspension from the House, and he "was still in recovery and easing myself back into work".[31] He said that returning to the House following his imprisonment "felt a lot like when I first started in 1998 ... I did not feel able to begin addressing my fellow peers again until my confidence had been sufficiently restored."[32] This argument sits uncomfortably with Lord Hanningfield's claim that he works full time. A further difficulty with this argument is that the scheme does not make allowance for payment in respect of members "easing" themselves back into the House. The scheme requires parliamentary work to be undertaken in return for claiming the allowance. That can involve sitting in the chamber and listening to debates,[33] but Lord Hanningfield cannot have done that for long given how briefly he was on the parliamentary estate on the dates concerned. If Lord Hanningfield wanted to ease himself back by making his face known about the House of Lords he would have been well advised to spend more time on the parliamentary estate.

24. The third reason Lord Hanningfield gave was that he suffered from ill-health in July 2013. He said that his health concerns limited his ability to travel safely[34] and limited his ability to stay on the parliamentary estate.[35] I am of course sympathetic to Lord Hanningfield's medical conditions and accept what he says about them. However, the financial support scheme makes no specific provision for support for members who are unwell; indeed, the House Committee considered whether to introduce support for members who cannot attend the House through illness but concluded that it was not possible to introduce such a scheme.[36] The fact remains that Lord Hanningfield was well enough to travel to and from London on 19 out of the 20 days that the House sat in July 2013.

25. The fourth reason that Lord Hanningfield gave for his claims was that he has many outgoings. He referred in particular to payments he makes to researchers and said that under the old expenses scheme he would have received £2,000 after the summer recess to pay his staff.[37] He said that his average monthly staff wage bill amounts to approximately £1,500. He said that "if you have staff, you cannot stop paying staff. You cannot pay staff for a day you attend, you have to pay them all the time."[38] The payment of researchers or secretaries is a perfectly legitimate use of the daily allowance—indeed it is a type of expense expressly cited in the House Committee report creating the scheme.[39] The difficulty so far as this investigation is concerned is that Lord Hanningfield has admitted that he did not retain a researcher in July 2013: one researcher stopped working for him in May 2013, and his replacement did not start until October 2013.[40] As regards other outgoings Lord Hanningfield has,[41] I simply observe that the scheme requires members to undertake parliamentary work on the day concerned; it does not stipulate what use should be made of the allowance.

26. The fifth reason that Lord Hanningfield gave for claiming the allowance was that he undertook parliamentary work on each of the 11 days concerned, but the work took place off the parliamentary estate. This seemed to me the most relevant of his reasons. I recognise that much parliamentary work takes place off the parliamentary estate, including at members' homes.

27. In his conversation with the Mirror journalist Lord Hanningfield said a lot of the work he did as a peer involved correspondence; he said he received 15 letters a day.[42] In his interview with me Lord Hanningfield referred to people who live nearby contacting him about local issues.[43] As previously mentioned, it is not for me to stipulate what is and is not valid parliamentary work. I therefore invited him to provide (subsequent to our interview) evidence of the parliamentary work he undertook in July 2013.

28. In response, Lord Hanningfield sent me a copy of three letters. One was dated 21 February 2013 and concerned allegations about Cambridgeshire County Council which apparently related to maladministration before 1974. A second letter was dated 24 November 2013 and related to the prescription of anti-psychotic medication.[44] I cannot see how letters dated February and November 2013 can be considered evidence of parliamentary work undertaken by Lord Hanningfield in July 2013.

29. A third letter was undated and related to the issue of pedestrians using roads. I asked Lord Hanningfield to clarify on what date it was received.[45] He said it was received on 5 July 2013, and that he met the correspondent on 12 July 2013 to discuss the cause.[46] I would have been prepared to accept that this meeting constituted parliamentary work; the problem is that neither 5 nor 12 July 2013 is one of the 11 dates my investigation is focused on.[47]

30. Another example of parliamentary work offered by Lord Hanningfield was that in July 2013 he was preparing for a debate on railways that he participated in in October 2013, after the summer recess.[48] Lord Hanningfield indeed spoke in a debate on investment in the rail network in East Anglia in the Grand Committee on 10 October 2013.[49] His speech lasted five minutes. I acknowledge that many members spend a considerable amount of time preparing for speeches, and that such preparation is clearly parliamentary work in the context of the financial support scheme. But there is a difficulty with the timing in this case. The debate in which Lord Hanningfield spoke was first advertised in the Government document Forthcoming business[50] on 30 July 2013. It first appeared on the order paper on 2 September 2013. I understand that Lord Hanningfield subscribed to the debate in the Government Whips Office on 8 October 2013. The 11 dates in July 2013 relevant to this investigation were all before the debate was first advertised. I therefore cannot see how he could have spent July 2013 preparing for a debate which did not then exist.

31. I therefore conclude that the material supplied by Lord Hanningfield does not demonstrate that he undertook any parliamentary work on the 11 dates in July 2013.

Findings

32. Lord Hanningfield was unable to produce any evidence to challenge the surveillance material provided by the Daily Mirror. I am satisfied that their record of his attendance is accurate both in terms of dates and duration.

33. The rules on financial support clearly require attendance at the House and certification by a member that he or she undertook parliamentary work on the dates specified. I am satisfied that Lord Hanningfield did not undertake parliamentary work on the 11 dates listed in paragraph 9 of this report. On each of those days he was in the House only briefly; he did not participate in parliamentary proceedings; and he was unable to provide evidence of any parliamentary work undertaken off the parliamentary estate on any of the days.

34. I find that on 11 days in July 2013 Lord Hanningfield breached the rules governing financial support for members and so paragraph 10(c) of the Code of Conduct by not undertaking parliamentary work.

35. I therefore find that on those 11 days Lord Hanningfield wrongly claimed a total of £3,300 in daily allowance.

36. I have examined whether Lord Hanningfield's incorrect claims for attendance allowance also constitute a failure to act on his personal honour, as required by paragraph 8(b) of the Code. The Guide to the Code provides that the concept of personal honour concerns more than a member's personal sense of what is honourable. It requires members to act in accordance with the standards expected by the House as a whole. I consider that the sense and culture of the House as a whole is that members should be scrupulous in their claims for financial support. I am of the view that the House as a whole would consider it dishonourable for a member, on repeated days, to stay for very short periods on the parliamentary estate, while claiming the full allowance and undertaking no parliamentary work. I therefore find that in making incorrect claims for daily allowance on 11 days in July 2013 Lord Hanningfield failed to act on his personal honour and so breached paragraph 8(b) of the Code.

37. In reaching the above conclusions I have taken particular account of the first principle of conduct in public life: selflessness. That principle requires members to take decisions solely in terms of the public interest and not in order to gain financial benefits for themselves.

38. I reiterate that the purpose of this report is not, in effect, to establish new rules on financial support, nor to lay down detailed stipulations about claims.[51] It is simply to investigate the case before me. My investigation focused on 11 days when Lord Hanningfield was on the parliamentary estate for fewer than 40 minutes. I stress that I am not determining that there is a threshold of attendance for 40 minutes, above which any claim for daily allowance is always acceptable and below which any claim is unacceptable. That figure is relevant only because of the particularly blatant examples of token attendance by Lord Hanningfield in July 2013. I reiterate that claims for daily allowance are subject to two requirements: attendance at the House and the undertaking of parliamentary work on the day concerned. I will look at both factors when investigating any future complaints alleging breach of the rules governing financial support for members.

39. In this report I make no finding about Lord Hanningfield's claims for travel expenses on the days concerned. This is for two reasons. First, his travel claims did not form part of the complaint. Secondly, the certification for claiming travel expenses is simply that the travel "was for the purpose of attending the House or a committee of the House"; the House Committee limited the requirement to undertake parliamentary work to claims for attendance allowance.[52]

40. I should mention that Lord Hanningfield co-operated fully with my investigation.

Paul Kernaghan CBE QPM

Commissioner for Standards

Appendix A: Articles in the Daily Mirror, 17 December 2013

The Lord's A-Leeching; Time & again peer clocks in for a few minutes to pick up his £300-a-day fee … and he claims 50 more are doing it

A SHAMELESS Tory peer has been ripping off taxpayers for thousands of pounds in a shocking new expenses scam.

The Mirror caught slippery Lord Hanningfield, 73, ducking in and out of Parliament, spending just minutes in the House, to claim his £300 daily attendance allowance.

But the brazen baron, who spent nine months in jail after the last Westminster expenses scandal, yesterday said he was not unusual and insisted: "I could name 50 other peers that do it."

The Louse of Lords; Peer in 'clocking in' scandal claims £5,700 in a month; MP: Boot him out and hold full inquiry

PICKING up £300 a day for doing virtually nothing usually goes like clockwork for money-grabbing Tory baron Lord Hanningfield.

The 73-year-old peer is ripping off taxpayers to the tune of thousands of pounds by simply turning up and "clocking in" to the Lords.

He often spends barely half an hour there before turning on his heels and leaving again—racking up his daily attendance allowance without taking part in votes or debates.

But last night he was facing a Parliamentary probe—after the Mirror exposed his shameless scam.

On one occasion we photographed him arriving at the Lords and leaving again just 21 minutes later—earning him more than £14 a minute.

It was barely enough time to walk to the chamber for his attendance to be officially noted. Shockingly in just one month this year he claimed £5,700 with his "clock in, clock out" technique.

Hanningfield has previous for milking the system. He was sentenced to nine months' jail for fiddling his accounts in the last Westminster expenses scandal.

Now the former pig farmer has his snout in the trough again—claiming more than £50,000 since he returned to Parliament in April 2012.

But up to the start of October this year he attended NO committee meetings, made NO speeches and also asked NO questions in the House despite his lucrative expenses claims.

The former Tory frontbencher, who had the party whip withdrawn when he was jailed, was followed for 19 days in July by our undercover reporters.

And they compiled a Diary of Disgrace revealing that for 11 days out of the 19 he spent less than 40 minutes each time inside of Parliament.

SECRET

The Lord turns up each day to have his attendance noted by a clerk—but there are no checks on how long he stays for him to qualify for his allowance.

Our expose raises serious questions over whether other peers are claiming excessive amounts simply for popping in and out of the 300-year-old chamber which costs more than £100million a year to run.

It also piles pressure on Westminster watchdogs to hold peers more accountable for their expenses claims.

Although the Mirror completed its investigation at the end of July, we had to wait six months until Hanningfield's claims were made public on the Parliamentary website.

Hanningfield—real name Paul White—has claimed he is working to "rebuild his political career" following his prison stretch.

But on July 16 our reporters secretly shot video footage of his normal daily routine. We saw him drive 15 minutes from his home in West Hanningfield, Essex, to Ingatestone station where he parked his Audi A3 at 1.20pm.

He bought a £25 return ticket at the automated machine on the platform and caught the 1.32pm train to London, where he switched to the Underground. We filmed him arriving at Westminster Tube station at 2.36pm. Hanningfield accessed Parliament by ducking into a private door inside the station leading to an underground passage to the Houses of Parliament at 2.37pm.

He appeared smart and professional—looking like he was ready to take on a day's work, possibly joining in an important debate in the main chamber. But after strolling through the House and getting his attendance recorded by the Journal Office, he was off again—leaving via the same entrance at 3.01pm.

Our video proves Hanningfield was inside just 24 minutes and five seconds to qualify for his £300 "fee".

He slowly walked through the Tube station, with the clock overhead clearly showing the time as 3.02pm. He then jumped on a Circle and District line train to head home. At 4.15pm we saw him arrive back at Ingatestone, get in his car and return to his £700,000 bungalow up a leafy lane in West Hanningfield village in Essex.

It was a packed schedule in the Lords that day, but Hanningfield played no part in affairs of state including a statement on Northern Ireland, discussion of the Care Bill by the entire House, and a debate on the Congo. The House of Lords finished for the day at 10.27pm—more than six hours after Hanningfield arrived home to put his feet up.

But that didn't stop Lord Hanningfield claiming his tax-free £300.

Our reporters witnessed the same pattern occurring again and again throughout July. The longest time he spent in Parliament was on July 30, the final day of the summer session, when he stayed a whole five hours and 12 minutes.

Parliamentary records show Hanningfield "absent" for eight votes during July—despite having "checked in" on some of the days they were held.

On top of his daily allowance, he also claimed £471 in travel costs for July, covering the price of his rail ticket and the car park charge at Ingatestone train station.

Last night Labour MP John Mann, who campaigned to clean up the Commons, called for Hanningfield to be booted out of the Lords.

He said: "He needs to be thrown out immediately. There needs to be a full investigation into how he has been allowed to get away with it. We need to give the House of Lords a proper and transparent spring cleaning."

The Lords' Guide to Financial Support for Members clearly states: "Members who certify that they have carried out appropriate Parliamentary work are entitled to claim a daily allowance of £300 for each qualifying day of attendance at Westminster."

Hanningfield claimed £51,300 in attendance allowance between April 2012 and July 2013 but made no speeches in any parliamentary debate.

His epic silence was finally broken in October when he took part in a debate on East Anglia's rail network. Hanningfield was caught in the last expenses scandal that exposed parliamentarians for claiming public cash for duck houses, flatscreen televisions and cleaning out moats.

In July 2011, he was found guilty of wrongly claiming nearly £14,000 after the jury heard he claimed £174 for overnight stays in London when he was not even in the capital.

He was released in September 2011 after three months before being placed on a home detention curfew. Hanningfield has paid back around £70,000 for false expenses claims on the orders of a court.

The system of overnight stay allowances for peers was scrapped after Lord Hanningfield and Lord Taylor of Warwick were jailed. The new £300 attendance fee was brought in to simplify the system and pay peers for their work in Parliament on behalf of the taxpayers they are supposed to serve.

The system of "clocking in" was introduced by the Senior Salaries Review Board which promised to shake up the system at the Lords.

Hanningfield began his working life as Britain's youngest pig farmer at the age of 15. He was educated at King Edward VI Grammar School in Chelmsford and earned a farming scholarship in the US before returning to Britain.

He joined the National Farmers' Union and by 22 was president of its quality pigs committee. His career with the NFU gave him a taste for politics and, at 29, he became an councillor for Essex County Council, which he went on to lead between 2001 and 2010.

He was made a life peer in 1998 after a long career in local politics, and took the title of Lord Hanningfield from his village, West Hanningfield in Essex, where his family still own a farm.

Between 1997 and 2001 he was deputy chair and Tory group leader of the Local Government Association.

I know 50 other Lords doing this ... 50 that I could name; Peer defiant over 'clocking in' culture; He reveals there's dozens more at it

LORD Hanningfield yesterday defended himself over a "clock in, clock out" row and said: "I could name 50 other peers that do it."

Defiant Hanningfield admitted there was a culture within the House of Lords of peers turning up just to claim their £300 tax-free allowance.

But he insisted the money was used by Lords for "entertaining and meeting people", as well as paying staff.

Despite our overwhelming evidence that he was spending just minutes inside Parliament in exchange for the £300 attendance rate, he still insisted he had done nothing wrong.

In a heated exchange in the car park of Ingatestone train station, in Essex, at 1pm yesterday, we confronted him.

After hearing our undercover team followed his movements throughout July, he gave a series of bizarre excuses, such as it being a "hot month", that he "has to eat" and "hasn't been well".

At one point he even blasted: "Clocking in and out of Parliament is only part of being a peer."

He told the Mirror to examine his career in public service, saying he had "worked for 40 years for nothing".

He even said he "shouldn't have been jailed" in July 2011, despite a jury finding him guilty on six counts of false accounting following the last Parliamentary expenses scandal.

Labour's John Mann said Hanningfield must now identify the other peers. The MP said: "He needs to name them, all of them. It is an absolute scandal."

Here we print an edited transcript of the exchange between Lord Hanningfield and our reporter:

Q How do you explain claiming £300 per day for each of the days you were in for minutes?

A It's cost me, by the time I have people at home to help, time I have people in the House of Lords to help me, I spend something like £150 a day on expenses, so I don't really make any profit.

Q But do you understand how the taxpayer may see a £300 claim for an attendance allowance in which you are supposed to attend Parliament and you have come out after just minutes? People may see it as not a good use of taxpayers' money?

A No, not really, because I've actually spent my whole life serving the taxpayer, and I am now trying to get back again. I've spoken twice recently, I'm getting very involved in transport, I have been through a very traumatic time, a terrible time. I still don't believe I'm that guilty of expenses problems initially at all.

I've made some mistakes, and I've paid back everything I've ever claimed before. I've paid back £70,000 and I'm now trying to get myself going again. When you're in the Lords, most of my Lords work is actually in post, it's meeting people and things like that …

Q But don't you see how people will see this as the system being used by Lords as clocking in and out of Parliament for minutes, simply to claim £300?

A Well, you will see at least half of the people doing that actually.

Q Half of the Lords in the House of Lords are doing the same thing?

A Many go in … let me explain, again, it isn't [just] what you do in the House. I am now speaking more in the House of Lords. When you go in, if you speak you are there a lot longer.

Q But, for that month of July you didn't speak, you didn't say anything, you didn't attend a committee?

A I have been trying to get on track again, I have spoken twice, I have been to some committees since October.

Q So why were you attending Parliament?

A Because I am a member of Parliament and I want to be back again, what I was trying to do was to get myself on track again, which I've done.

Q On track by turning up and claiming money though?

A Yes, because I was doing things there, you see.

Q You weren't doing anything there, were you?

A I was.

Q I can show you the 16th of July right here, where you arrived at 14.36 and you left at 15.02, that isn't doing anything is it, that's turning up, claiming £300 and going home?

A You are talking a load of rubbish, quite honestly, because being a Lord is not just going in the House of Lords, it's the post you have. I have 15 letters a day, I have all sorts of things like that. I can do some of it at home, some of it at my office in the Lords.

Q You are effectively clocking in and out of Parliament?

A You are talking a load of rubbish, quite honestly … Shut up. I have worked my heart out for the taxpayer.

Q You are spending more time on the train than you are in Parliament, aren't you?

A You are talking a lot of rubbish.

Q Don't the rules clearly state as a fact, that you can claim that money if you vote, if you attend a committee or if you attend the main chamber of Parliament? You are effectively going into the main chamber of Parliament, staying a couple of minutes so a clerk ticks you off on a register and then you are coming home?

A Well I admit I don't go much into the main chamber, if you look at my records since October it's changed dramatically because I've spoken twice … let me explain again. I was trying to get myself organised after a nervous breakdown … I have been exhausted by this and I find you pretentious and talking utter rubbish.

Q Are you going to pay back any of the £5,700 you claimed for July?

A No, because I've spent that on what I did there, you misunderstand. I am absolutely fed up with people like you lying about it … I have given the British taxpayer hundreds of thousands of pounds in my life, I have worked for 40 years for nothing, I have done a jolly good job under pressure.

Q And yet you have been jailed for your expenses?

A That is wrong, it was wrong, I shouldn't have been jailed.

Q A jury found you guilty though …

A I didn't stand a chance, did I? Being the last one I didn't stand a chance, I could have carried it on through the European court. I didn't realise how much effect it would have after.

Q Just on a wider thing, what you're saying, it's not just you, there are lots of peers doing it?

A Lots of peers go in and check in for their expenses, but they are using their expenses for a lot of things, entertaining, meeting people, employing people. Lots of peers like I do have an assistant.

Q So you are saying that perhaps the rules need to change, because what you have been doing is not in the spirit of the rules?

A I have to live, don't I? I don't do anything else. How do you think I am going to eat, how am I going to pay my electricity bills?

Q I realise that, but people won't see that as good enough, you're a Lord, people hold you to a high standard.

A I have to eat, other people have to eat. My income from the Lords will be about £30,000 a year, I pay about that in £18,000 in expense to other people, I'll end up with £12,000 a year.

Q I don't think the taxpayer will see what you have done in July as value.

A Well no, why don't you choose October?

Q The fact Lords clock in and out is a thing that annoys people, I don't think it's just you, I think it is wider.

A No, I can name 50 that do it.

Q Would you like to do that now?

A I see the same people go in and out as I do. I don't want to be persecuted.

Appendix B: Letter from John Mann MP to the Commissioner, 17 December 2013

I am writing to you as the Commissioner for Standards in light of the revelations in today's Daily Mirror regarding Lord Hanningfield and the practice of "clocking in and clocking out."

It appears that Lord Hanningfield has claimed more than £50,000 since April 2012, despite until October of this year attending no committee meetings, making no speeches, and asking no questions in the House of Lords.

In the Guide to Financial Support for Members there is clear guidance on how members of the House of Lords should claim 'financial support':

    4.1.1. Members who certify that they have carried out appropriate Parliamentary work are entitled to claim a daily allowance of £300 for each qualifying day of attendance at Westminster.

    4.1.2. A Member may, on a day by day basis, elect to claim the reduced allowance at the daily rate of £150.

Furthermore, the code of conduct contained within the same guide states that the first principle that members should adhere to is:

    Selflessness: Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.

In the interest of the integrity of Parliament, and considering these clear rules, I would ask you to investigate these claims and Lord Hanningfield's assertion that he "could name 50 other peers that do it."

Appendix C: Letter from the Commissioner to Lord Hanningfield, 18 December 2013

I have to advise you that I have received a complaint against you. In a letter received by my office on 17 December 2013 Mr John Mann MP alleges that you have breached the House of Lords Code of Conduct and refers to an article published in The Daily Mirror on 17 December 2013. A copy of Mr Mann's letter and the article are enclosed.

It appears on the basis of the complaint that you may have breached the following provisions of the Code of Conduct—

    "7. In the conduct of their parliamentary duties, Members of the House shall base their actions on consideration of the public interest, and shall resolve any conflict between their personal interest and the public interest at once, and in favour of the public interest.

    8. Members of the House:

    (a) must comply with the Code of Conduct;

    (b) should act always on their personal honour …

    9. Members of the House of Lords should observe the seven general principles of conduct identified by the Committee on Standards in Public Life. These principles will be taken into consideration when any allegation of breaches of the provisions in other sections of the Code is under investigation."

I would highlight the first such principle—

    "(a) Selflessness: Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.

    10. In order to assist in openness and accountability Members shall: …

    (c) act in accordance with any rules agreed by the House in respect of financial support for Members or the facilities of the House."

I have conducted a preliminary assessment of the complaint and believe it is appropriate and in the interests of all concerned that I investigate the alleged breach of the Code. Therefore, I invite you to respond in writing with a full and accurate account of the matters in question. A response by 8 January 2014 would greatly assist me in investigating this matter in a timely fashion.

I enclose a copy of the Guide to financial support for members (February 2013). Also enclosed is a copy of the Code of Conduct for Members of the House of Lords and Guide to the Code of Conduct (second edition: November 2011).

Appendix D: Summary of investigation by the Daily Mirror

This is an investigation carried out by the Daily Mirror following our belief that Lord Hanningfield was "clocking in and out" of the Houses of Parliament in exchange for a £300 attendance fee.

We found through our research that Lord Hanningfield was claiming large amounts of money each month, shown via publicly available accounts on the UK Parliament website.

This was despite his poor work record, shown on website TheyWorkForYou, that he had made no speeches in the house, asked no questions, attended no committees and made no votes.

Since his return in April 2012 following a period of time in jail over a previous expenses fraud, he had claimed more than £50,000.

Our undercover investigative work took place during June and July 2013.

Using a team of three photographers and one reporter, we identified his route from his home in West Hanningfield village in Essex to the Houses of Parliament and back again.

This was as follows: a short drive from his home in Hanningfield in his blue Audi A3 car, registration [not printed], to Ingatestone train station. From Ingatestone he would take an overland train into either Stratford tube station in London, or Liverpool Street Station.

From Stratford he would swap onto the Jubilee line to Westminster tube station, and from Liverpool Street Station he would transfer to Circle and District Line to Westminster tube station.

He would then enter Parliament via a secure entrance inside Westminster tube station.

He would leave and commute back home using one of the two routes described above.

The month of June was spent identifying this route.

Our undercover team was then in place for the month of July to ensure we had a timed log and photographic evidence to pin down his movements for the 20 days the House of Lords was sitting that month. He attended 19 of those days.

We had a reporter based at Ingatestone train station, then a photographer based at Westminster tube station.

More journalists were brought in on days when undercover video footage was being obtained.

The evidence we are presenting is for the month of July—from July 1st to July 30th.

We have timed photographic evidence of him entering Parliament and then leaving Parliament to commute home to Essex for each of the 19 days he claimed.

For the 16th of July we have video evidence of him arriving at Westminster tube station, through the barriers, into the Houses of Parliament, then back out again, through the tube barriers and onto the District and Circle line platform.

On this occasion he stayed for a total of 24 minutes inside of Parliament in exchange for a £300 attendance fee.

For the majority of the days he used a door entrance inside Westminster tube station to access Parliament via a secure door for which he had an electronic keycard. He would usually exit the same way.

Our team found he spent less than 40 minutes inside of Parliament for 11 of those 19 days.

On July 23rd he stayed inside for 21 minutes before leaving to commute back home.

Once our evidence was gathered we then waited a total of six months for the amount of money he claimed to be made publicly available on the UK Parliament website in December.

He claimed £5,700 tax-free for July, not including his train fare and car park tickets for each day.

Appendix E: Response by Lord Hanningfield to the Commissioner, 20 January 2014

I am writing to you in response to your invitation to offer a full and accurate account of the matters raised in articles published by the Daily Mirror and also by Mr John Mann MP.

I would like to begin by stating that I have been devastated by the aforementioned tabloid articles and even more so, to discover that a Member of Parliament believes that I have breached the House of Lords conduct.

Since my return, I have found other members of the House to have been extremely helpful, sympathetic and supportive, and so I hope that these more recent allegations will not have damaged those relations irrevocably. The last thing I would want is for these stories to have caused similar problems for other peers.

With specific reference to the provisions you cited in your letter, I maintain that I have always conducted myself in the conduct of my parliamentary duties and based my actions on consideration of public interest.

I also believe to have always acted on my own personal honour, having worked in the House of Lords for over 15 years and spent a lifetime serving the taxpayer, to the detriment of both my private and financial standing—the interests of the public have always taken precedence over my own.

My interest in the transport sector is unrelenting. In fact, in the weeks prior to the Mirror reports, I had successfully organised and spoken publicly at a QSD geared towards urging the government to decide on a new Thames crossing.

I am however a human being, and while I have always conceded that as one, I am liable to make mistakes, I have certainly never intentionally acted in a dishonest or selfish manner.

With specific reference to the claims made by Mirror reporters in December 2013, I would like to respond by saying that the newspaper, perhaps unsurprisingly, made no effort to include the fact that as I will only claim the £300 daily allowance 100 times in a year, my annual recompense is £30, 000.

Furthermore, during the month of July, in which the Mirror saw fit to follow me without my knowledge, I was suffering from various health concerns that were limiting my ability to travel safely and in fact, where the Mirror states that I was "walking slowly" on the 8th July, as if to denote a sense of laziness, I had in fact fallen down and injured myself already that morning.

I am due to undergo a cataract operation on my right eye this month, suffer from Glaucoma and had painful back problems. My doctors have also had some trouble controlling my blood pressure and experimented with a variety of combinations of tablets over the summer, all of which culminated in me having difficulty walking and in particular travelling anywhere safely and confidently.

Moreover, I had only been back in the House of Lords for a matter of months following my release from prison and had suffered a breakdown as a result of my conviction, for which I am prescribed to take Paroxeline for depression and anxiety.

I was still in recovery and easing myself back into work when the Mirror saw fit to pay somebody to stalk me with a camera; a superficial pretence at investigative journalism.

I would like to add that my political background is steeped in local government and so, the majority of my work is done from home. Over the month of July, my journeys into the city had mainly served to recover my post and to liaise with my assistant.

I am proud to say however, that since October I have been much more active in the house and have regained some of my confidence. I have said many times that returning to the house following my imprisonment felt a lot like when I first started in 1998, and so after the public humiliation of my criminal trial and the health complications it provoked, I did not feel able to begin addressing my fellow peers again until my confidence had been sufficiently restored.

I readily admit that these episodes have left me somewhat traumatised, and that I have also developed an anxiety complex as a result, yet these are issues which I remain determined to overcome.

With closer reference to the three main dates which the articles seem to hinge on (8th, 9th and 16th) I would therefore like to clarify that I was suffering badly from a combination of the aforementioned problems and had actually fallen down on the morning of the 8th, and had just returned from a short trip to visit my sister in Norfolk on the 16th.

I am a working peer for every one of the 365 days in a year and so, I believe that to have based this article on wider conclusions drawn from what is merely a glance into my working life, to have been both unfair and misguiding.

In conclusion I would like to thank the Commissioner for this opportunity to shed more light on the situation and offer my own side to the story. If any confirmation of the aforementioned health concerns and subsequent treatment is required, please do not hesitate to contact me as my doctor is able to provide more information.

It is my hope that you will now feel able to dismiss these allegations as I have been working very hard to return to my 'normal' working life in Parliament only to have been disrupted by another tabloid 'story'. I believe I still have many years of good work ahead of me in which I hope to continue to have a positive impact on the people of this country.

This work however will continue to be a mixture of work in the House but at home in Essex also.

If you still need any further information from me, please do not hesitate to contact me as I would be happy to try to provide it.

Appendix F: Interview of Lord Hanningfield by the Commissioner, 13 February 2014

The Commissioner for Standards: Lord Hanningfield, thank you for agreeing to this interview. This interview is being recorded and a transcript will be produced. You will be sent a copy of the transcript and given the opportunity to correct any errors and/or clarify anything you have said. The transcript will be appended to my report on your case, but will not be published until the Committee for Privileges and Conduct reports on the case.

On 17 December 2013 the Daily Mirror published a series of articles about your claims for a daily allowance when attending the House of Lords in July 2013. John Mann MP wrote to me on that day asking me to investigate the allegations. I wrote to you on 18 December 2013 inviting a written response, which you provided in January 2014.

The objective of this interview is to seek clarification about points that arise from the Daily Mirror stories and from your written response. In this interview, I will ask first about the claim form for claiming House of Lords expenses and then about your attendance in the House in July 2013 on the dates mentioned in the Mirror articles. I will then ask some general questions arising from the coverage and your written response. Are there any points you would like to make at the outset or shall we proceed straight to the questions?

Lord Hanningfield: Proceed straight to the questions.

The Commissioner for Standards: Thank you.

I want to look initially at the claim form. In July 2013, you attended the House on 19 out of 20 sitting days. For each of those occasions, you claimed a daily allowance of £300 and travel expenses for a return journey from West Hanningfield to Westminster. The claim form that you submitted for July 2013, which was dated 30 July 2013, contains a self-certification in the following terms: "I certify that any travel claimed was for the purpose of attending the House or a Committee of the House and have undertaken parliamentary work on the date specified and claim the allowances/expenses for the month stated. I also certify that the travel expenses are not reclaimed from any other source."

Therefore, the daily allowance is paid on the basis of attendance and the certification that parliamentary work has been undertaken on that date. Could you please outline your understanding of that certification?

Lord Hanningfield: I do parliamentary work of some kind every day of my life. I was asked to be a life peer in 1998. I was asked to be a working peer and my life changed. I became a peer. I do not see attending the House as being a working peer: I see it as my life. That is what I am; I am working peer.

Before my recent troubles, I often spoke at the House every day of the week and worked lots of times, sitting on the then opposition side at 11 or 12 o'clock at night. Obviously, that has changed now, but I still see myself as a working peer and attendance in the House, to some extent, is incidental to that. It is just part of my life.

I realise that I have to attend the House to claim expenses. That is about 100 times a year so that comes to about £30,000 a year. All of that is spent on staff and other things. That is my life. I never have another life. I am a working peer. I gave up other things after the recent troubles and that is what I do. I do something every day—Saturdays and Sundays at home, I still do something parliamentary because that is what I am.

The Commissioner for Standards: Thank you. Do you recognise—I think you were saying that you do a lot of parliamentary work—that the daily allowance is paid on the basis of both parliamentary work and actual attendance?

Lord Hanningfield: Yes, I realise that because that is why I attend. If the Mirror had followed me on days other than in July, they would have found a rather different pattern. I can explain that pattern, which is mainly due to health problems during July. I still have health problems now and I have had health problems for the past four years. One of the things about it is that I am trying to get back to some sort of normality. I do not think anyone, unless they have been through it, can understand the trauma that I have been through in the past three years and how it has affected my health and me. I am going to write a book about it, to try to describe it. If somebody had been into a shop and robbed it, they know that they have committed a crime. I did not ever think that I had committed a crime. It was fairly open that I was claiming all the allowances to pay staff and it was fairly open that I occasionally used a car to go home. I did not keep it secret and I am amazed that it all went wrong as it did. It has had such a traumatic effect on my life and I am really horrified at what the Mirror has done to me. I am not going to say names, but I do think that somebody has done to me some harm. If it goes further, I think that might have come out.

The Commissioner for Standards: Thank you. We will come on to cover areas that you have highlighted, in particular your health.

Moving on, can you please confirm that in July 2013 you did not speak in the House or in a Grand Committee, attend a select committee meeting, table a question nor vote in a division? That is what my search of the record indicates.

Lord Hanningfield: I cannot confirm that, but if you say so. I have asked some questions in recent times and voted in recent times. I was a bit careful about voting because I am not supposed to be part of any political party at the moment, but obviously that is my voting record. Because I would then be indicating party preferences. I have voted sometimes but I have not voted very much. It is a question really of knowing what to do. I have been in such an extraordinary situation.

The Commissioner for Standards: I recognise that, but—

Lord Hanningfield: I agree with you. I do not know whether I tabled any questions; I have tabled questions recently but I do not know whether I did in July.

The Commissioner for Standards: I will be very clear that I am only focusing on the period highlighted in the complaint, which is July 2013. What you are saying is that while you may have taken part in those activities on other dates, you are not challenging that in July 2013 you did not.

Lord Hanningfield: No. I am not challenging that.

The Commissioner for Standards: Thank you.

In the Mirror articles, it was said that in the 11 days during July 2013 you spent less than 40 minutes each time on the parliamentary estate. Do you dispute any of the timings that are mentioned in the article?

Lord Hanningfield: I just do not know. I am trying to recollect. I just do not know at all. I cannot believe that and I do not really think that they followed me all the time. I did come up a couple of times with somebody and they do not seem to have photographed me with anybody. A couple of times, I would have had somebody with me in Westminster station. I fell over three times during July and they admitted to me that they had people placed at particular points to try to catch me, but not following me the whole time. When I had a long chat with quite a nice reporter after a day or two, when I was warned that they were going to do a story about Essex so I actually rang them and I had a long chat with a reporter, they had not followed me the whole time. I do not know really. I have gone to the Press Complaints Commission about their activity in July, so I have followed that up and I have done a report from the Press Complaints Commission.

The Commissioner for Standards: But you are not in a position to dispute the timings?

Lord Hanningfield: I am not in a position. I cannot really believe that. I spent two or three days in Norfolk. That is the one day that I did not come. I cannot really believe that there were 11. I remember three or four particular ones because those were the ones I fell over. There is something I should explain. I still panic rather in travelling at times. July was very difficult because—and I am pleased that there were—there were thousands of children visiting London and you could not get a seat on the tube. In fact, a couple of times I felt so awful I had to ask someone to give me a seat. It was particularly bad at those times and I can remember slightly panicking and wanting to get home again because of the amount of people around. It was good that there were so many and many more during this July than in the Olympics. There were masses of children all coming to Westminster to come to Parliament. They were getting on the tube and they pinched all the seats so you have to stand up, and I cannot actually stand up anymore on the tube.

The Commissioner for Standards: That is fine.

Lord Hanningfield: I just cannot remember; I have tried to recollect it.

The Commissioner for Standards: I recognise that.

Moving on, in your written response to me, you state that you were suffering from poor health in July 2013. If you were suffering from poor health, why did you undertake travel to the House of Lords on 19 days during that month?

Lord Hanningfield: Well, I was trying very much—and people I have spoken to will back me up on that—to get back into a rhythm of working again, which I actually did in October, once we started again after the summer recess. The summer recess helped me. I have debated with friends here how I could get going again. I did not really want to talk about my experience, because I thought that it would get a lot of publicity. Fat lot of good it did me in the Daily Mirror, but I could have talked about my experiences, and I had been debating about whether to get involved in, particularly, education again. I did some transport stuff, but what I have really been thinking I would get involved in is conservation and sort of non-political things. That is why I was coming up all the time—to try and get myself into a situation of work again. You know, that was what I was trying to do—to get myself back to where I was a few years ago.

The Commissioner for Standards: Thank you.

In your written response, you also say that your journeys into London in July 2013 merely served to recover your post and liaise with your assistant. How did you manage to do that if on 11 occasions the total time spent on the parliamentary estate was less than 40 minutes?

Lord Hanningfield: Well, I was really between assistants. I finished with Rees Ballard who was assisting me a bit. He, in fact, came up with me on one occasion; he lives in my village. I now have—he has a Cypriot surname—Adonis Pratsides who is very good. I saw him because he was going to start work properly in October. So when I was here, I very often had coffee with them in the House; that is why I slightly dispute the amount of times. I did not come across into Millbank, my office, very much, but I certainly had coffees in the canteen downstairs with various staff and various people during that month, which is my usual routine of having a coffee or something with them and talking over things.

The Commissioner for Standards: I think that what you are saying is that you cannot dispute the times, as such but—

Lord Hanningfield: Can I just say that I dispute—I do not really believe—the Mirror on that?

The Commissioner for Standards: Thank you.

On 16 July 2013 the Daily Mirror claimed that you were on the parliamentary estate for 24 minutes. Do you consider 24 minutes to be an appropriate measure of attendance in the context of claiming an allowance of £300?

Lord Hanningfield: Not really, no; but I think that that was the day or the day after I fell over and hurt myself quite badly. I have had some recent tests for cancer—besides having a cataract operation last week—because there was some internal bleeding. They think that that is a result of my falls rather than cancer, fortunately. I still have got to have a general scan, perhaps next week. I spent a day in hospital having all sorts of tests last week, and it seems as if I might have internally damaged something, which caused blood—you know—and so I have been losing some blood. I have to have checks for that. I had a very nasty fall—I wonder why they did not record that—coming into the entrance to Westminster station. I probably could have claimed; there was some scaffolding sticking out as you come to the entrance where parliamentarians can come in. I tripped over it and went crashing down on the concrete. Several people came to pick me up. I think that that was probably on 15 July.

The Commissioner for Standards: I recognise entirely what you are saying; you have suffered ill health and you had your fall on 15 July. Can you understand someone who was reading that article in the Daily Mirror and listening to you describe the ill health that you were suffering and your fall on the 15th? Would they understand your motivation? What was your motivation for coming into Parliament the next day?

Lord Hanningfield: You have to know me. As a farmer, I have not had a day off work in my life. I have gone through my whole life not even having had a day off work with a cold. I rather frown on people who have lots of days off. I have tried to keep going throughout all my problems. I think that I had two days off in my 20s, when I had a glandular problem. Other than that—I am now in my 70s—I have to say that I have never had a day off work, ever. So I would carry on regardless. It is my routine. I would just get up and work. As I said earlier, I am a working peer, and that is what I am. That is my life.

The Commissioner for Standards: What parliamentary work did you undertake on 16 July?

Lord Hanningfield: Well, all the time I follow what is going on—whether it is from my email at home. I do not know what I did, but I would have had post up here. I am always getting emails at home. Coming from a local government background, I probably get more. Being more visible than if I lived in a street in London, I am quite visible where I live, and lots of people know me. Fortunately, virtually everyone is on my side, even with the Daily Mirror stories. I get lots of inquiries, lots of people wanting my advice, just because I am there; I was born in my village, my family have been there for probably 400 years and I still get lots of people knocking on my door asking me to advise or help them with something, because I am a peer.

The Commissioner for Standards: I recognise that. I am conscious that you have a background in local government et cetera, and as a long-standing councillor. But can I ask: what parliamentary advice can one give to a neighbour, to someone in the village at that time? I am just interested; can you identify any work which has a connection with the functions of the House of Lords?

Lord Hanningfield: Yes, most of it does. It is driving me a bit mad, really, but there is a guy who has been quite supportive of me, but he believes fundamentally that pedestrians have a right to go on the road before cars. He believes that there has never been an Act of Parliament that gives—you know, he lives in a situation where there are no footpaths, and so he is in continual confrontation with the police and with the local authorities. I actually worded a question, probably in July; but this question was about six pages long. You do not ask questions that are six pages long. I had thought in July of having a debate about it. So that is just one. I get quite a lot of letters saying that the Secretary of State has given planning permission when everyone else has refused it. Virtually everything I get has got some association with Parliament.

The Commissioner for Standards: Can you recall any parliamentary work that you undertook on 16 July?

Lord Hanningfield: Not particularly; I cannot recall. I do something every single day, though. I will look at emails or look at what has happened—as I said, even on Saturdays and Sundays as well.

The Commissioner for Standards: Thank you for that.

Moving on to 23 July 2013, the Daily Mirror claimed that you were on the parliamentary estate for 21 minutes. Do you consider 21 minutes to be an appropriate measure of attendance in the context of claiming an allowance of £300?

Lord Hanningfield: Well, yes, if I was doing other things. As I said at the beginning, I am a peer and nothing else. That is me, and therefore, regarding the £300, I do not see being a peer as one day or one month. Being a peer is 365 days a year, and you can only attend about 100 of them; so for 265 days you are a peer and do not actually get any money for it. Therefore, I do see the allowances as a yearly sum, not an individual monthly sum or daily sum.

The Commissioner for Standards: We will move on to that. Do you recall any parliamentary work that you undertook on 23 July?

Lord Hanningfield: I cannot remember exactly what I did. I always do something every day, which might be looking up what has been said, or something, the day before, or speaking to somebody.

The Commissioner for Standards: Did you undertake any parliamentary work on each of the 11 dates mentioned in the Mirror articles?

Lord Hanningfield: I would have done something or other, yes. I just do not know. I do not keep a diary like I used to. I used to keep a fairly detailed diary about what I do and who I saw. When these events happened to me, I stopped keeping a diary. I wish I had carried on keeping it. I did not keep a detailed diary but I kept a note of who I was speaking to. One of the great things about coming to the House of Lords is that you always speak to somebody to get what is going on. So every day I would speak to somebody, even if only for a short time. I would speak to somebody; I often had tea with people or go back to have coffee with my assistants or somebody else. So every day you speak to someone about what is going on.

The Commissioner for Standards: I think, from what you have just said, that while you feel that on many occasions you would speak to people about various things, you would not be in a position to provide evidence of the parliamentary work you undertook during July 2013.

Lord Hanningfield: Well, I could provide evidence about this guy who wants me to promote a bill. I could provide some evidence about me. There was a murder in a cement mixer. I could provide evidence about some of the planning issues I took up, yes.

The Commissioner for Standards: Subsequent to the interview if perhaps you could provide some evidence of that in the next week, that would be very helpful.

Lord Hanningfield: Yes.

The Commissioner for Standards: Thank you.

I now want to shift away from the specific instances in July 2013 to a more general discussion about the House of Lords expenses regime. In your written response to me, you stated that you could only claim the £300 daily allowance 100 times a year and that your annual recompense was therefore approximately £30,000. You have reiterated that this afternoon. Do you view that amount as a de facto salary?

Lord Hanningfield: I suppose I do, because all the time I have been here, I have had staff. I am one of the reasons they changed the system. The system beforehand, which I fell foul of, was £50 for a daily allowance, £50 for your staff and the rest of it was overnight. I talked to Lord Strathclyde a lot about it, and one of the reasons they changed it was basically to help me. They changed it to £300 a day so that other people—if they had had that kind of allowance beforehand, I would never have fallen foul of it.

I could name people—I have not ever named people—who could have fallen foul of it. I could name people now who claim the daily allowance but who do far less than I do. But I am not going to start naming people and be bitter about it. I will perhaps do that in my book a bit.

If you have staff, you cannot stop paying staff. You cannot pay staff for a day you attend, you have to pay them all the time. I have done that. When I was an opposition minister, I got some recompense from the Leader of the Opposition group and I immediately gave that to staff. All the time I supported staff. I am tens of thousands out of pocket from being a peer.

The Commissioner for Standards: Would you have a record of money you paid to people you employed during July 2013?

Lord Hanningfield: I might have if I look it up. Yes.

The Commissioner for Standards: Well, I think it would be helpful if you could supply me with that evidence. Thank you for that.

The rules on financial support provide for three options for members. You can claim £300 for attending the House. Alternatively, you can claim £150 or you can submit no claim. Since the current system of financial support was introduced in 2010, have you ever claimed £150? Have you ever attended the House and not submitted a claim? When do you feel it would be appropriate to claim £150 as opposed to £300?

Lord Hanningfield: I will go back. When I employ people I do not think I could ever claim £150 because it just would not—£30,000 does not cover all the people I pay in a year. People say, "You should not have a dog," or "You should not do this." I live by myself and I have to have support. Just to come to London, I have to have support. I cannot claim today, but I still have people helping me at home today.

The Commissioner for Standards: I apologise for interrupting. Do you utilise the money you get from your fees for, I think you used the term "research" or "assistance" to help you discharge your parliamentary activities or do you feel it is a wider umbrella, including what I would describe as domestic support and assistance?

Lord Hanningfield: If I did not have some domestic support—the main thing of course is to do research for me, but if I did not have some domestic support, I could not attend the House of Lords. As I understand it, you can use it for domestic support. I have been here, whatever it is, 16 years or so, and I have always understood that you can use some of it for domestic support. You have to if you have no one else to do it for you. You cannot come to London and attend without a bit of spending on that. But I would say that I have always spent much more than I have claimed, every single year that I have been here.

The Commissioner for Standards: Right. I do not want to put words in your mouth, but I think what you are saying to me is that you claim £300 when you attend because of your ongoing expenses et cetera. You have never considered claiming £150 because that would not cover your expenses.

Lord Hanningfield: No, it would not be worth me coming here. I could not come here.

The Commissioner for Standards: It would not be worth you coming here.

Lord Hanningfield: I could not come here on £150. It costs me more each day than £150 just to come to London and go back again, and on what I have to do. That is by the time you have done all the things associated with it.

The Commissioner for Standards: Thank you.

In your interview with the Daily Mirror, you claimed that many members of the House of Lords—to use the formulation offered by the journalist you spoke to—"just clock in and out". You stated that you could name 50 or so who do that. Do you stand by that assertion and could you name the members who behave in that manner?

Lord Hanningfield: No. What I meant when I spoke to the Daily Mirror reporter is that they clock in and out but not that they were not doing parliamentary work the same as I do. There are a lot that just go and stand by the Bar, but then they go back to their office. That was what I meant when I spoke. I mean, just jumping on me in the car park—that is one of the complaints. They say they interviewed me. I go back to what I am. I have been interviewed all my life for local government stuff, but I am not confident about interviews that attack me. I react by shooting from the hip, in a way, whereas I should not have done. Many people have advised me not to say anything, but it is a terrible job not to say something when people jump at you the next day.

I do not really mean that they just clock in. I do not accept the clocking in thing. I do not clock in just to collect the money and I do not accept that others do as well. There are people who just go in to show their attendance, but I am sure that they are doing other work.

The Commissioner for Standards: You mentioned that they may go in and are recognised for being there, and then they go to their offices. I do not think that that scenario would be inappropriate. I think, in the Daily Mirror observations of you and the subsequent interview, they were able to say that they had seen you go into the parliamentary estate and leave the parliamentary estate within a relatively short period of time—20 to 40 minutes. You indicated to them that other members follow a similar regime. They go into the parliamentary estate and they leave the parliamentary estate after a fairly minimal passage of time. Are you saying that that is not an accurate observation or do you stand by that observation?

Lord Hanningfield: All I am saying is I think that there are a few that do not do very much. They just go in, but I am not going to name them. I think there are many who just go in for a few minutes but are doing other things either in London or from home, et cetera. I am sure that dozens of people only spend 20 minutes in there sometimes. Hundreds, everyone. Everyone.

The Commissioner for Standards: I have to put it to you: what would you say to the proposition that claiming other members behave in a manner subject to public criticism and then failing to substantiate that claim casts a cloud of suspicion over the whole House?

Lord Hanningfield: No—well, what they should do, but they will not do it, is that they should say that people can only do it for 100 days a year. I have challenged them over and over again. They wanted to do a longer interview, and in the interview they have cut that out. The papers do not that. The maximum you can claim is around £30,000 a year. They indicate it is £300 a day, which a lot of people believe is every day of the year, or at least that it is 300 days. This is one of my complaints. They will not do it. They would not do it for me and they will not do it for anyone else. People do not see that as a reflection on the whole House if you can only claim £30,000 a year. If you claimed £90,000, yes. I see that the ex-Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, is in the papers today. He has not been in the House for months, but he is still getting his parliamentary salary. Lots of MPs do not spend a lot of time in there. I see myself as a parliamentarian just like an MP.

The Commissioner for Standards: I recognise that, Lord Hanningfield, but, as you will appreciate, I am focusing on you today and my remit is the House of Lords. I think what you are saying to me is that the paper never made it clear that you can only claim the £300 for the days you attend Parliament. I think you are inferring that what they are conveying to their readership is that it is £300, 365 days a year. Is that the position?

Lord Hanningfield: Well, not 365 days because you have weekends but they are conveying that it is 300 days a year. People who do not know will believe that. When you tell people that it is only around 100 days a year, they say, "Why didn't the papers say that?" The papers just do not do that, and I think that that is a basic fact.

I would take that complaint further. Other papers have said the same. The Independent, which has had a go at me off and on since I returned, put it in as £300 a day. Fortunately, I notice that the better papers, if you want to put it that way, did not take up the story about me—the Times, the Telegraph and the Guardian did not take up the story. I think that most people think that the whole Mirror thing is very scurrilous.

The Commissioner for Standards: I think that you are saying that the papers did not convey the full picture to their readership. The Mirror story repeatedly refers to £300 a day. Is not the reality that it is £300 a day tax free, which for many people who are working would equate to £500 to £600 a day?

Lord Hanningfield: Yes, but that is still £30,000 a year, and you need to pay expenses out of that. They do not put that you have expenses out of it. Everyone thinks—well, not everyone, but the way that they print it suggests—that you are just taking £300 a day. As I explained, you are not. I personally do not get to see any of that £300.

I think that the Mirror was absolutely disgraceful. I would be interested to know why they chose me and who set it up. I do not want to mention things, but I received some odd treatment of me by one or two people before this appeared in the Mirror and I wondered why—I just do not know. There must have been something about it all.

I know that you cannot get involved in politics, but there is something political about it and we are going to have to suffer that, I suppose, in the run-up to the general election. I believe that there was politics behind all this—the treatment of me. It is very unfortunate because, obviously, the complaint was put in before the article even appeared.

The article was not changed at all from my interview. I said to them, "For goodness sake, I am trying to recover," and, "Give me a break," but the article had already been written, so they did not interview me properly. The whole thing is scurrilous. I feel that it has brought back for me all the trauma, and I think that the whole thing has been terrible.

All that I have done is that I have given my whole life to Parliament and to the public—50 years of it. I do not want to cry, but it is terrible the way that I have been treated. I have given 50 years of my life, all my money, everything that I have ever earned. For the first 25 years, I did not earn anything. To be treated like this is terrible. I am still giving my life to support people in one way or another; that is what I do.

The Commissioner for Standards: I recognise that, and thank you for that, Lord Hanningfield.

At the outset, I should have said for the purposes of the transcript that this is an interview between myself, Paul Kernaghan, Lords Commissioner for Standards, and yourself Lord Hanningfield. My colleague Nicolas Besly, the clerks who assists me, is also present. Nick, are there any questions or points that you feel that we should put?

Mr Nicolas Besly (clerk): Commissioner, may I clarify something? At one point, Lord Hanningfield, you said that you were "in-between researchers" in July 2013, but at other points you have talked about your dealings with your researchers that month. Presumably, when you provide whatever documentation you have to the Commissioner, that will clear up at what point you had a researcher.

Lord Hanningfield: I had Rees Ballard, but he was just helping me a bit during July. The more full-time assistant that I have now, Adonis, did some work for me during the break—in August and September, he started on some things—but he has been full time with me for two days a week, or three days a week sometimes, since then. Rees Ballard was with me for the early part of this year, but I will clarify the dates and talk to Rees about it.

Of course, the Mirror went to the homes of those two guys and it did not think much of it. That is one of the complaints. Rees's mother told them where to go, but Adonis was at home and they asked him personal questions. That is an infringement on them, really. I did not realise that the House of Lords would give the Mirror their addresses. People have told me that the House of Lords would divulge names but not addresses of assistants. The whole Mirror thing was absolutely disgraceful.

Mr Nicolas Besly: Thank you. You will clarify that in your written submission.

The Commissioner for Standards: Thank you.

We have agreed during the course of the interview, Lord Hanningfield, that you will provide that information. If you could provide that by a week tomorrow, that would be really helpful. It is entirely a matter for you, but if you could identify, first, people who worked for you during July 2013 and what payments you made to them in respect of that work, and, secondly, the work that you feel that you were undertaking during July 2013—I think that you mentioned one person in respect of rights on the roads et cetera. It is entirely a matter for you, but what I am looking for is what work you feel you carried out in July 2013 and what assistance you paid for during that period. That would be helpful.

Lord Hanningfield: I have been interested in politics all my life, and obviously, as a peer, I still follow it. At one stage, I attempted to become an MP and got to several short-lists but never made it. Therefore, I follow politics and what is going on in both Houses of Parliament all the time—much more than the majority of peers would do, I think, as most peers are really interested in only one or two things. When I speak, I try to speak in an informed way, and that is why I try to learn about different things. For example, I have done quite a bit of work on bees, which is not one of the things that I would naturally speak on; I can speak quite easily on transport, but I cannot speak easily on bees. With the modern things like internet et cetera, I am doing something all the time to follow it and to increase my knowledge. I have always believed that you can carry on learning all your life. I am trying to increase my knowledge on other things so that I can speak and do other things here now, because I try to stay away from politics.

I also explained that I really wanted to stay away from local government, although some people said that I should not. Education was one of my big things in local government—as a leader, you cover everything—and I am trying to gen up on lots of other issues so that I can participate in those issues here. That is what I want to do.

The Commissioner for Standards: Thank you.

We will now terminate the interview, so once again I say thank you very much. A transcript will be provided, and you will be forwarded a copy of the transcript. If you could supply the information that we have discussed by 21 February, that would be really helpful.

Lord Hanningfield: Okay. It might be first thing on the Monday.

The Commissioner for Standards: We can live with that.

Lord Hanningfield: Obviously, I will be trying to take it a bit easier next week. Having had the cataract done, I shall be able to see rather better when I get some better glasses.

The Commissioner for Standards: Thank you.

Appendix G: Email from Lord Hanningfield to the Commissioner, 25 February 2014

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to the Daily Mirror stories in our interview last week, and to further clarify my position in this reply.

As I mentioned in the interview, I have recently filed a formal complaint with the Press Complaints Commission regarding the inaccuracies within the primary Daily Mirror story and so greatly appreciate any opportunity to rectify what I believe to have been misleading and distorted information.

I would like to begin by referring to our discussion, on page 8 of the transcript, regarding the "50 others … who just clock in and out".

I would like to clarify my response by saying that I was not in any way, trying to accuse 50 other peers of "cheating the taxpayer" (as the Mirror would have you believe I did) because I was in no way admitting that I had breached the code of Members of the House of Lords myself.

In fact you mention, on page 9, that you do not think that a "scenario (where I register my attendance and then go to my office) would be inappropriate" and this would reflect my general routine far more accurately than the observations of Mirror reporters over the month of July 2013.

I would maintain that mitigating circumstances regarding my health at the time, played a crucial role in my ability to stay on the parliamentary estate and furthermore, that I was able to carry out the same work as many other peers do in their offices, from home, during that time.

I would however like to apologise for, as you put it, "casting a cloud of suspicion over the whole House", but maintain that having been ambushed in a public train station, it was rather an impulsive defensive reaction to the accusations, as opposed to a rational and well-thought out response, and one that I regretted immediately after.

In addition, I would like to raise the argument that under the old regulations, I would have received £2,000 when the House reconvened after the summer recess, in order to pay my staff. These are costs which do not vanish simply because the House is in recess, and so, I believe it is necessary to continue to claim the full allowance in order to accumulate the money to cover such costs.

Although I can fully appreciate why you are trying to focus on the month of July, alone, as I alluded to in the interview, I simply cannot accept that it is fair to isolate one month out of the year. I would like to reiterate that I conduct parliamentary work almost every day throughout the year irrespective of whether the House is sitting or not and incur certain costs as a result.

My average monthly staff wage bill amounts approximately £1,500 alone and can be broken down as follows:

Rees Ballard: £300 p/wk (Aug 2012-May 2013)
Dawn: £40 p/wk
Ian: £45 p/wk
Bruce: £60 p/wk
Adonis Pratsides: £100 p/w (Oct 2013-present)

Furthermore, on page 8, where I say (and you repeat) that, "it would not be worth me coming here" I would like to apologise for the decidedly poor choice of words, given the circumstances, and clarify, just as I did in the interview, that I could not come here on £150.

I would also appreciate it if my comments, on page 7, regarding my ability and intent to name certain people could be stricken from the record.

In regards to the request for further evidence of the kind of parliamentary work I undertook during the month July 2013, I was preparing for a Railway debate that I successfully participated in, once Parliament had reassembled.

Furthermore, I have attached some examples of the kind of letters I regularly receive, which I hope to further expound the kind of parliamentary work I conduct from outside the parliamentary estate.

Although you did not request it, should you need any evidence of the various health problems I suffered from during July 2013, I would be happy to divulge this information in greater detail. I maintain that the state of my health over the month in question was the main reason why I was unable to stay on parliamentary estate for sustained periods of time.

Thank you again for this opportunity and please do not hesitate to contact me should you require anything further.

Attachment 1: Letter from Norman Ingle, 21 February 2013

I wonder whether I might trespass upon your time and experience. Enclosed is an 8 page dossier outlining what I say are very serious allegations concerning Cambridgeshire County Council. Could you possibly find the time to read through it and then possibly consider whether there are any doors that could be opened to enable this matter to be aired and resolved. Quite what I expect you to say or advise I frankly do not know but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

The Local Government Ombudsman has been contacted and states that since he was not established until 1974 he cannot act and since all the allegations of post 1974 maladministration relate to a pre 1974 issue he cannot look at that either. The local media do not want to know neither does my local MP Sir James Paice. Any legal action would now be time barred.

It only takes one person to believe in what I write and if that person has some 'clout' for the tide to start moving in my direction.

I do hope that you can come up with some magic solution. If need be I am prepared to meet you and produce all the documents that back up my assertions.

Attachment 2: letter from "former patient", 24 November 2013

Earlier this year, I was sectioned twice; that I was later told that it was a mistake and I should not have taken medication is beside the point.

Even if the hospitals were squeaky clean, it is the current laws and the dominant role of psychiatrists that is causing immense suffering, undermining the good work of occupational therapists, friends and family, and cutting people off from re-engagement into society and future employment.

Having spent time locked up this year, with little to entertain me except internet access and a Bible, I was told by psychiatrists that I would be put on a regular injection, if I did not take antipsychotic medication.

Recently, in response to the Banerjee report, a bill was passed to reduce anti-psychotic medication being used in the NHS to prevent dementia, which was being used in the NHS four times more than necessary.

Urgent action is required to stop over-use of anti-psychotic medication in the UK.

What is required is a change in legislation and a new approach to mental health care treatment that considers the possibility that the medical model of forced treatment is both scientifically and morally wrong.

Patients, if they can demonstrate that they are non-violent for a week, should at least be given the chance to remain under section and refuse medication if they state this as a preference. I believe forced anti-psychotic medication should be banned altogether.

I am convinced there is no such thing as mental illness. Having spoken to other patients in the hospital, 1 believe there is no one (even the very few that shout and are apparently violent), who could not be healed by human contact and love and someone that appreciates their beauty and listens to them. Most problems in life can be resolved by sleep and loving human contact.

Antipsychotic medication is the most horrible one. It not only brings on dementia. In many cases, it leaves people with tardive dyskinesia (an uncontrollable facial muscle twitching).

While I would prefer to resume normal life, I believe a change in legislation is required out of decency for patients in Britain. I do believe current mental health laws in Britain raise serious questions about whether we are a free, democratic country.

I would be grateful if you could take action and raise these issues in Parliament.

Attachment 3: Letter from David Kirkwood (undated)

I have spent some time considering this question you have kindly offered to ask, I will explain in brief what I am trying to get across. I hope I do not confuse things? I have done quite a bit of reading.

Parliament does not possess the power to legislate against our freedoms without falling into conflict with the rule of law to which it owes its existence. It is not possible to take a piece of legislation and then to convert it to a different purpose from that intended by Parliament. Therefore a Highway Authority is not legally able to use statutory powers and discretion in relation to the delivery of its highways as a reply to circumstances obstructing or otherwise endangering the rights of the lawful user. They do nonetheless.

The reason they have no discretion is because the right to use highways is not statutory it is a common law right that the Highway Authority simply does not have discretion or powers to limit or alter. It is really that simple, the aberrant state of affairs subsists largely because no mechanism of State exists that will give effect to the publics' right in this respect which is itself in contravention with the HRA 1998.

Of course the LGO, PCA, John Whittingdale, DIT, Go-East, Chelmsford City Council, Parish Council et al have all not addressed this question. The principle authorities have had to go to ridiculous lengths to avoid addressing my questions and complaints. Once the question is addressed it will fall beyond the reach of the arguments thus far proffered by them all and a re-evaluation would naturally take place. The starting point would be public and human rights in contrast to casual convenience for people driving fast.

This subject is becoming very current and much of what is contended presumes legislation is the key because there is a complete confusion between the basic right to use highways which is in essence a pedestrian right and the right to drive a vehicle which depends upon meeting legislation and providing a suitable surface. Just to confuse matters a little more, when one does drive a car on the public highway (not motorways) it is the basic common law right one is exercising when doing so although driving is subject to meeting statutory regulations and limits. This right being equal provides no special privilege or advantage to a driver as compared to a mum pushing her baby in a pram along the side of a road. To contend otherwise pierces the heart of our Constitution.

I do go on I know, it is really interesting to me.

This is my draft question set out below; I have sought to offer up a thumb nail sketch to add flesh to the legal sinews so it can be comprehended more readily.

Appendix H: Letter from the Commissioner to Lord Hanningfield, 26 February 2014

Thank you for your email of 25 February 2014 and supporting letters.

I would be grateful if you could provide the following additional information:

    41. What work did "Dawn", "Ian" and "Bruce" perform for you in July 2013?

    42. You attached a letter from David Kirkwood of Chelmsford that is undated. Could you please clarify when you received it?

    43. Please supply a copy of any replies you sent in response to the three letters you attached to your email. What other actions, if any, did you take in relation to those letters?

I note your request that I redact certain comments you made during the interview. However, as I explained to you, it is my practice to submit my reports un-redacted to the Sub-Committee on Lords' Conduct. Any request for redaction should be made to the Committee for Privileges and Conduct when it comes to consider your case.

I would much appreciate a response by 5 March 2014, as I am keen to conclude my investigation as quickly as possible.

Appendix I: Email from Lord Hanningfield to the Commissioner, 4 March 2014

Thank you for your continued patience. I hope the following information will allow you to come to a favourable decision regarding the conclusion of your investigation.

·  Ian Duxbury is a computer technician and specialist whom I employ to maintain (and often repair) the technology in my home. He is also paid to help me with whatever mechanical tasks I am unable to carry out myself.

·  Dawn is no longer employed by me, but, over the month in question, was hired to clean my home on a weekly basis.

·  Bruce is employed by me to care for Theodore (my Bernese mountain dog) and my chickens whilst I am in London. He also helps me to perform various administrative tasks (i.e. scanning, typing etc.) when working from home.

In reference to your second query, I can confirm that I received the letter from David Kirkwood on 5/7/2013. As I usually prefer to meet or speak with the person/representative in question, I'm regret to inform you that I have no record of my response however, I can confirm that I did meet with David Kirkwood on 12/7/2013 to further discuss his cause.

I would also like to reiterate that, as per usual, I followed all activity in the HOL, every day, during the month in question.

I would also like to state that without the help and peace of mind that I receive from the various people whom I employ, I simply would not be able to come to London and conduct my parliamentary work.

The month in question was a very difficult one, given the mental and physical problems I suffered from. I did however continue to work but given my anxiety when travelling, due to the aforementioned health concerns as well as the attention I received from the local press (throughout July in particular) I was simply more comfortable to operate from the safety and security of my own home.

I hope the information provided is sufficient. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you require anything further.


8   The Daily Mirror supplied me with a summary of their investigation, copies of the articles about Lord Hanningfield, copies of a reporter's notes about Lord Hanningfield's movements, photographs of Lord Hanningfield entering and leaving the parliamentary estate on the dates concerned, photographs of Lord Hanningfield's car at Ingatestone railway station in Essex, and a transcript of Lord Hanningfield's conversation with the reporter at Ingatestone railway station when the reporter approached Lord Hanningfield to reveal the allegations. The articles are in appendix A to my report; they include the majority of the transcript of the reporter's conversation with Lord Hanningfield. In my opinion the photographs do not add to the allegations made in the articles. Therefore, appendix E contains only the Mirror's summary of their investigation. Back

9   Full details of that investigation and the sanction imposed are set out at: Committee for Privileges and Conduct, The Conduct of Lord Hanningfield (9th report, 2010-12, HL Paper 211). Back

10   On 15 July 2013 the House sat but Lord Hanningfield did not attend. Back

11   The railway journeys and associated car-parking costs were paid on the House of Lords travel credit card issued to Lord Hanningfield. Back

12   On the other eight days that Lord Hanningfield attended the House in July 2013 he was on the parliamentary estate for between 53 minutes and 5 hours 12 minutes. Back

13   Appendix E. Back

14   Review Body on Senior Salaries, Review of financial support for Members of the House of Lords (report No. 71, November 2009, Cm 7746). Back

15   Financial support for Members of the House of Lords, report of the ad hoc group (2010-12, HL Paper 13). Back

16   House Committee, Financial Support for Members of the House of Lords (1st report, 2010-12, HL Paper 18), paragraph 5. Back

17   Ibid., paragraph 16. The £150 allowance is also available for certain categories of parliamentary work away from Westminster. Back

18   LJ (2010-12) 238-39. Back

19   House Committee, Financial Support for Members of the House of Lords (1st report, 2010-12, HL Paper 18); LJ (2010-12) 239. Back

20   Guide to financial support for members (February 2013), paragraph 3.1.1. Back

21   Op. cit., paragraph 6. Back

22   Op. cit., paragraph 19. Back

23   Form AE February 2013. Back

24   Op. cit., paragraph 3.13. Back

25   Members may table up to six written questions per day, subject to a limit of 12 per week. Back

26   On the 11 days concerned there were eight divisions. Back

27   Appendix F, page 28. Back

28   In fact in recent years the House has sat for between 130 and 160 days per calendar year. In 2012-13 Lord Hanningfield attended 123 out of 137 sitting days. From May 2012 to April 2013 he claimed £36,900 in attendance allowance. At the time of writing Lord Hanningfield had attended 104 out of 124 sitting days this session. Back

29   Appendix E. Back

30   Appendix F, page 33. Back

31   Appendix E. Back

32   Appendix E.  Back

33   The House has a tradition of members sitting and listening to debates without necessarily participating in them. Back

34   Appendix E. Back

35   Appendix G. Back

36   Op. cit., paragraph 33. Back

37   Appendix G. Back

38   Appendix F, page 33. Back

39   Op. cit., paragraph 5. Back

40   Appendix F, page 31; appendix G. Back

41   In appendices G and I Lord Hanningfield details payments he makes for support at home. Back

42   Appendix A, page 21. Back

43   Appendix F, pages 31-32. Back

44   The letters are printed at appendix G. Back

45   Appendix H. Back

46   Appendix I. Back

47   On 5 July 2013 the Mirror recorded Lord Hanningfield as having spent 3 hours 6 minutes on the parliamentary estate. There must therefore be a presumption that he undertook parliamentary work while on the estate for that time. On 12 July 2013 the House did not sit. Back

48   Appendix G. Back

49   HL Debates, 10 October 2013, cols GC104-06. Back

50   Forthcoming business is prepared by the Government Whips Office and informally advertises the business which the Government anticipate the House will take in the coming weeks.  Back

51   Those are matters for the House Committee. Back

52   Op. cit., paragraph 19. Back


 
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