Steve Bassam quits as Labour Lords chief whip over expenses row

Posted On: 
7th December 2017

Labour's chief whip in the Lords has said he will step down in January after questions were raised over his expenses claims. 

House of Lords chamber Steve Bassam is standing down as Labour's chief whip in the Lords early next year

Lord Bassam came under the spotlight after the Mail on Sunday reported he had been claiming for train tickets from Brighton while also receiving a £36,366 'officer holder's' allowance designed to cover the cost of staying overnight in London.

While he has not broken any rules, the peer has agreed to repay thousands of pounds of travel expenses after admitting it would have been "more appropriate" not to claim the cash.

Following the report he said in a statement: "I will not be submitting any further claims in this way, and instead use the office holders allowance to cover those additional costs. I will also discuss with House officials the steps necessary to repay previous travel claims."

A Labour source told PoliticsHome: “Steve has told fellow members of the Labour Lords group he plans to step down from his role as Opposition Chief Whip early in 2018 once a replacement is elected by our peers.

“He does not want this to become a distraction from our group’s work in scrutinising government legislation, including the upcoming Brexit Bill.”