Lord Monckton, climate change sceptic and UKIP’s head of research, has been told to stop claiming to be a member of the House of Lords, in a letter sent to him personally and also published on the House of Lords website.
In his letter, David Beamish, Clerk of the Parliaments, makes the distinction:
No-one denies that you are, by virtue of your letters Patent, a Peer. That is an entirely separate issue to membership of the House… I am publishing this letter on the parliamentary website so that anybody who wishes to check whether you are a Member of the House of Lords can view this official confirmation that you are not.
The Guardian reports:
The move follows a testy interview given by Monckton to an Australian radio station earlier this month in which he repeated his long-stated belief that he is a member of the House of Lords. When asked by ABC Sydney’s Adam Spencer if he was a member, he said: “Yes, but without the right to sit or vote … [The Lords] have not yet repealed by act of parliament the letters patent creating the peerage and until they do I am a member of the house, as my passport records. It says I am the Right Honourable Viscount Monckton of Brenchley. So get used to it.”
The letter, sent by David Beamish, clerk of the parliaments, to Monckton last Friday and now published on the Lords’ website, states: “You are not and have never been a member of the House of Lords. Your assertion that you are a member, but without the right to sit or vote, is a contradiction in terms. No one denies that you are, by virtue of your letters patent, a peer. That is an entirely separate issue to membership of the House. This is borne out by the recent judgement in Baron Mereworth v Ministry of Justice (Crown Office).”
Read the full story at the Guardian.