UK Lord embroiled in lobbying scandal

Lord Laird (L), an Ulster Unionist peer and former MP in seen here in a news programme with the BBC.

A member of the UKâ„¢s House of Lords has become the latest senior politician to be embroiled in the growing Parliamentary lobbying scandal, local media reported.

In return for arranging Parliamentary questions to be asked, Lord Laird, an Ulster Unionist peer and former MP, demanded a fee of £2,000 a month, British media reported.

Lord Laird said he was prepared to help undercover reporters posing as lobbyists set up a Parliamentary group, Å“bribe” colleagues to ask questions and influence debates on behalf of a client paying him a retainer.

The peer was exposed during a joint investigation by the Telegraph and BBC Panorama programme.

This comes as revelations were made earlier that Patrick Mercer, a Conservative MP, abused his position by tabling questions and Parliamentary motions after accepting thousands of pounds from a bogus lobbying company.

The undercover journalists were posing as lobbyists claiming to represent anonymous business interests who wished to see the Fijian regime re-admitted to the Commonwealth.

Mercer has now resigned from the Parliamentary Conservative Party and the Labour Party has demanded that Prime Minister David Cameron introduce new laws to regulate lobbyists.

Lord Laird was secretly recorded suggesting to undercover reporters posing as lobbyists that he could recruit other Parliamentarians to act for them by offering them free trips to Fiji: Å“Iâ„¢ll deny having said this, but itâ„¢s a bribe…the sort of thing I can say to these guys…you put that question down now, I thought you were interested in Fiji, would you like to come down to it, you know, I believe itâ„¢s quite nice…I can whisper that”.


This article originally appeared on: Press TV