Lords Plan to Ambush Archer on Return to House

By Leapman, Ben | The Evening Standard (London, England), July 8, 2003 | Go to article overview

Lords Plan to Ambush Archer on Return to House


Leapman, Ben, The Evening Standard (London, England)


Byline: BEN LEAPMAN

PEERS are plotting to embarrass Jeffrey Archer in the Lords after accepting that they cannot block his return to Westminster following his release from prison this month.

Parliamentary rules allow convicted peers to continue in the Lords once they leave jail.

Ministers have threatened to close the loophole, and MPs have demanded action, but there is no way of changing the law in time to bar Archer.

Instead, some peers are preparing to invoke a little-used rule to challenge his presence. When he rises to speak he could face a shout of: "I move that the noble lord be no more heard."

The debate would be suspended for half an hour while peers debated and voted on whether he should be allowed to contribute.

One senior Lords source said: "It's a bit heavy-handed, but if he started throwing his weight around I think somebody might use the device." An alternative proposal, for peers to walk out when Lord Archer rises to speak, is also being discussed in the tea rooms and corridors of the House. …

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