House of Lords suspends Swraj Paul, two other Asian lords

House of Lords suspends Swraj Paul, two other Asian lords

The House unanimously approved sanctions against Lord Swraj Paul, who remains suspended for four months, Baroness Manzila Pola Uddin, who remains suspended for 18 months, and Amirali Alibhai Bhatia, who remains suspended for 8 months, for claiming thousands of pounds in parliamentary expenses which the Committee believed they were not entitled to.

During the debate in the House on the resolution, prominent Labor peer Lord Waheed Alli raised concerns about a possible racial bias.

"It cannot have escaped your attention that the only three members of the House who were referred to the Committee for Privileges and Conduct and subsequently investigated under these procedures were all Asian," Alli said.

Lord Paul was suspended despite the Privileges Committee finding that he had not acted "dishonestly or in bad faith".

The House accepted the recommendation of the Committee, which observed that "We do not feel justified in finding, on the balance of probabilities, that Lord Paul acted dishonestly or in bad faith. However, his actions were utterly unreasonable and demonstrated gross irresponsibility and negligence."