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Northern Ireland peer Laird claimed almost £50k expenses but only voted twice

Northern Ireland peer Laird claimed almost £50k expenses but only voted twice”

A total of 115 peers claimed an average of £11,000 each despite failing to make any contributions to debates, prompting calls for a crackdown on "couch-potato peers".

But the society's conclusions have been challenged by a House of Lords spokesman, who said they failed to take into account other work conducted by peers including serving on committees, amending legislation and putting down written questions.

Lord Laird has claimed £48,279 in House of Lord expenses in a year - yet only voted twice and did not give a single speech. Extensive analysis of voting, speaking and expenses records in the Lords shows a "something for nothing" culture among some peers - and a need for substantive reform.

More than £7.3million in allowances was received in the 12 months to May by 394 lords and ladies who each spoke less than ten times in debates during that period.

It concluded that £4,086,000 was claimed by 277 peers who spoke five times or fewer in the past year.

SILENT "couch-potato peers" have pocketed nearly £1.3million between them in a year.

Unelected Lord Laird (73), told the Mirror he is considered disabled in Westminster due to a heart condition which leaves him often unable to get to the chamber in time to vote.



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