Lord Swraj Paul, Lord Bhatia face suspension from House of Lords over expenses scam

Sunday, October 17, 2010

LONDON - Indian-born British Labour politician Lord Swraj Paul, along with another Indian and a Bangladeshi peer, investigated over the expenses claims face suspension from the House of Lords and repayment of tens of thousands of pounds.

According to the Telegraph, Lord Paul, Lord Bhatia and Baroness Uddin are expected to be officially recommended for censure by the House of Lords authorities.

Lord Paul has been recommended for a suspension of between four and six months and has agreed to pay back 40,000 pounds in wrongly claimed expenses.

Lord Bhatia, of Hampton in the London Borough of Richmond, faces a ban of between six and 12 months and is to repay 27,000 pounds voluntarily.

Baroness Uddin, the first Muslim woman to be appointed to the upper house, is set to be suspended for between a year and 18 months, and has agreed to pay back 125,000 pounds.

The trio was investigated by the Sub-Committee on Lords’ Interests, which examines allegations of misconduct in the Upper House.

Lord Paul and Baroness Uddin were referred to the committee after criminal investigations into their cases were dropped.

It followed a series of complaints into the alleged misuse of allowances, including a 174 pounds overnight claim for a peer whose main home was outside London.

Lord Paul had reportedly claimed that his main home was a flat in Oxfordshire for claiming money in overnight expenses for a London property.

Baroness Uddin had reportedly registered her main home in Maidstone, Kent, even though she owned another property in London.

Lord Bhatia has a 1.5million pound home in London, but in 2007 he “flipped” the designation of his main home to a two-bedroom flat in Reigate, Surrey. (ANI)

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