Friday, 10 February 2017

Why don't the EU's pensioners in the Lords have to declare their interest?

The fact that Peers such as Lord Mandleson have large EU pensions which are at risk if they oppose the EU is something that I have blogged about before. So I was interested to read Matt Ridley's piece in the Spectator

'... Peers are obliged to declare any interest that 'might be thought by a reasonable member of the public' to influence the way they discharge their parliamentary duties — unless it is an EU pension.

In 2007, a Lords subcommittee said that because their contracts oblige them to support the EU, an EC pensioner who made 'intemperate criticism of the commission' would have contravened their obligations under the Treaty of Rome 'and therefore could in theory damage his pension'.

Nonetheless, the subcommittee concluded, in a magnificent non sequitur, 'There was no doubt of the integrity of the members of the House who had served as EU commissioners and it would be distasteful to call on them to declare their interest when speaking.' Distasteful!'

Integrity and Peter Mandleson? Well it's possible I suppose.

Distasteful and Peter Mandleson? Certainly.

An unbiased news organisation would at least mention the above possible conflict of interest when interviewing the likes of Peter Mandleson and Neil Kinnock, so that explains why the BBC don't say a word about it.

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