Forty members of the House of Lords have been reported to parliamentary authorities, in what is believed to be one of the most wide-scale breaches of transparency rules ever reported in Westminster.
The news comes after openDemocracy revealed how dozens of Lords appear to have flouted rules by not declaring details of private companies they run.
Rules say that if a lord is a company director, they should “give a broad indication of the company’s business, where this is not self-evident from its name”. But openDemocracy found that dozens of peers have not done this.
They include Labour peer Lord Carter of Coles, who runs an offshore company called Primary Group Limited, based in the tax haven of Bermuda. Although he has declared his directorship, he has not said what the company does.
Another peer, Lord Brennan, is chairman of a private business development firm that offers to “develop and maintain our clients’ relations with governments, both in the UK and overseas”, according to its website. But the register of interest gives no details about the nature of the firm’s work.
Lord Bamford, who owns digger firm JCB and has given millions to the Conservative Party, says he is also the director of a company called Editallied Limited. But again, no further details are provided.