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28 May 2014

Lord Oakeshott accuses the Lib Dems of “cash-for-peerages“

Lib Dem peer says his efforts to "expose and end cash-for-peerages in all parties, including our own" have failed.

By George Eaton

Having had time to digest Lord Oakeshott’s resignation statement, it turns out to have been even more revelatory than first thought. In the final paragraph, the Lib Dem peer accuses his party and others of selling places in the Lords. He said:

When Charles Kennedy rang to make me a peer, from a panel elected by the party, fourteen years ago he said he wanted me to shake up the Lords. I’ve tried – my bills to ban non-dom peers are now law – but my efforts to expose and end cash for peerages in all parties, including our own, and help get the Lords elected have failed.

Of note, then, is that Nick Clegg last year ennobled Ministry of Sound owner James Palumbo after he donated more than £500,000 to the party over nine years. Oakeshott responded at the time by declaring that “Cash-for-peerages pollutes parliament and the political parties that collude in this corruption.”

If Oakeshott has evidence that the party has committed the criminal offence of selling peerages, it is hard to see why, as in the case of the original affair, there should not be a police investigation.

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