Teaching activity

House of Lords - Controversy over the Early of Shrewsbury

Mike McCartney

31st August 2022

The House of Lords is a topic that just keeps on giving. I can't think of one where I have had to add so many examples to my teaching notes.

Here is the latest controversy regarding Britain's upper chamber, this time about the Earl of Shrewsbury:

"A Conservative hereditary peer is under investigation for a second time by the House of Lords standards watchdog over allegations that he misused his parliamentary position to lobby for a firm that was paying him.

The Earl of Shrewsbury claimed in correspondence that he was meeting a series of politicians and officials to promote a healthcare firm that employed him as a consultant.

The leaked documents show that the peer boasted “very considerable” potential to open doors for the firm, SpectrumX, through what he called “my extremely high-level contacts”. He described one of his contacts as being “at the very top of the feed chain”.

The Guardian can reveal that the earl also tabled nine questions in parliament that elicited information from the government about issues that appear to be connected to SpectrumX, which marketed products to combat coronavirus. After he had received answers from a minister, the peer forwarded them on to SpectrumX."

Source: the Guardian 26 August 2022

So, using the above, and the arguments for and against Lords reform from a previous posting here, we have scope for a class debate, no?

Mike McCartney

Mike is an experienced A-Level Politics teacher, author and examiner.

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