Lord Maginnis faces suspension for bullying MPs and security guard after standards probe

Sophia Sleigh
·2 min read
Lord Ken Maginnis, pictured, has been accused by SNP's Hannah Bardell  of
Lord Ken Maginnis, pictured, has been accused by SNP's Hannah Bardell of

A member of the House of Lords should be suspended from Parliament for at least 18 months for the “bullying and harassment” of staff and MPs, an inquiry has recommended.

The House of Lords conduct committee says Ulster Unionist peer Lord Maginnis of Drumglass should be suspended for breaching the code of conduct.

It comes after he was “verbally abusive” to security officer Christian Bombolo when asked to show his parliamentary pass in January.

SNP MP Hannah Bardell, who witnessed the incident, lodged a complaint that when she tried to intervene she was treated “rudely and aggressively” by the peer.

Lord Maginnis went on to use “homophobic and offensive” language about her in an interview with HuffPost UK.

He was also investigated for using homophobic language in relation to Luke Pollard after the Labour MP's chairing of a meeting and comments made to another Labour MP Toby Perkins.

The committee has suggested that Lord Maginnis’ suspension should be extended if he does not undergo training and change his ways.

The report said: "In his oral appeal Lord Maginnis showed very little insight into the impact of his behaviour on the complainants, and no remorse for the upset he had caused.

"To the contrary, he portrayed himself as a victim of a conspiracy by people who disapproved of his views and insisted that all his conduct had been provoked.

"He also continued to refer to the complainants in a disobliging and sometimes offensive manner."

Any suspension will have to be approved by peers before coming into force.

Responding to questioning from the standards commissioner about the incident with Ms Bardell, the 82-year-old is said to have accused the MP of having a “serious mental illness and psychopathic disorder” and labelled the accusations a “lying tirade”.

The SNP MP said Lord Maginnis would have been “shown the door” in “any normal workplace”.

The Standard has attempted to contact Lord Maginnis for comment.

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