By Tom Winnifrith | Monday 9 May 2022
The judgement out today from the Lords Standards Commissioner is below. Tory Toff, the Earl of Shrewsbury has been forced to apologise for asking questions in the house without declaring an interest following my complaint. Gotcha!
In my view, The Standards Commissioner is a bit weak. For instance His Lordship says he was never Commercial Director of SpectrumX. I never said he was. But Spectrum’s website listed the Good Lord as “Commercial advisor” and if that was not the case, he had months and months to correct it. Perhaps since his firm, Talbot, was trousering a 4 figure sum each month for “PR services” he did not care? PR firms normally review the websites of firms they represent.
But the Earl is a good fellow who went to Harrow and the complainant is just an oik or, as the Commissioner puts it, “a member of the public.” As such lt us not probe the Earl’s weak responses, this clear breach of the rules is all just a complete misunderstanding by a man who – as a whip – should have known the rules. Let’s not forget that the good Earl did go to Harrow and is a gentleman unlike the oik complainant, his Lordship has apologised and now let’s move on.
Getting a public apology and this public slap on the wrists is better than nothing and, on balance, a win. But it does confirm my belief that rules really are only for little people.