Almost a dozen Lords punished for bullying or harassment over six years

Posted On: 
17th February 2019

Almost a dozen peers have been punished over claims of bullying or harassment over the past six years, it has emerged.

Some were given written warnings, while some were told to undertake “awareness training”
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Allegations of racism, bullying, sexual harassment and religious discrimination have led to 11 members of the House of Lords being censured, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

Some were given written warnings, while some were told to undertake “awareness training”.

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Among the 11 was Lord Lester, who resigned from the Upper Chamber last year after author Jasvinder Sanghera accused him of sexual harassment - which he denied.

But the names of the others on the list were not revealed to the paper due to data protection laws.

Between the years 2000 and 2018 there were 54 allegations of abuse made against peers and staff members, the Telegraph discovered through Freedom of Information requests.

Maria Miller MP, Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee, said: “Members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords have positions of significant power - the way we behave towards others in Parliament matters.

“Any sort of bullying or aggressive behaviour should not be tolerated and there should be transparency if complaints are upheld.”

An independent probe about bullying and harassment in the Lords was launched last year and is expected to be published in the spring.

A spokesperson for the House of Lords said: “While the number of reported incidents of bullying or inappropriate behaviour is relatively low over what is an 18-year period, we would accept that the House of Lords can do more to ensure all staff are treated fairly and professionally at work.

“In recent months the Lords has launched a new behaviour code and Independent Grievance and Complaints Scheme for responding to staff concerns about their treatment by other staff and proposals will be brought forward shortly to extend those processes to complaints about Members’ behaviour.”