7 peers back in Lords after prison terms

Nov. 14, 2012 at 5:00 PM
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LONDON, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Several members of the British House of Lords who were imprisoned for expenses fraud are back in the upper house, a list released Wednesday showed.

The list includes attendance allowances and travel expenses peers claimed for June, The Independent reported.

Paul White, now Lord Hanningfield, a former Conservative leader of the Essex County Council, served nine weeks in prison last year for claiming fraudulent expenses. In June, he received 3,600 pounds ($5,700) for 12 days attendance plus 285 pounds (around $400) for travel.

John Taylor, who sits in the Lords as Baron Taylor of Warwick, returned to Parliament in June for the first time since he spent three months in prison. Taylor, a Conservative, received almost 3,000 pounds ($4,000) in attendance allowance.

Pola Uddin, a Labor peer, has also returned, The Independent said. She was never prosecuted but was ordered to repay 125,000 pounds (almost $200,000) she had received in expenses.

David Steel, a former leader of the Liberal Party and now Baron Steel of Aikwood, has introduced legislation that would allow convicted peers to be expelled. But Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, current leader of the Liberal Democrats, has stalled it, apparently because he fears it would distract from his efforts to make the upper house an elective body, The Independent said.

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