House Rules: Peers cannot profit from sponsored events

Judging conduct. House of Lords’ rules clear on use of facilities.

House of Lords’ rules on the use of facilities for outside events are clear.

They say that functions must not to be used for the purposes of ‘direct or indirect financial or material gain by a sponsor…or any other person or outside organisation’.

This means that Members should not receive payment or any other kind of benefit, such as an offer of employment based on the ability to provide access to House of Lords.

Related article: Conservative Treasurer accused of breaking House of Lords rules 

It adds that companies or organisations must not use functions to drum up business or as a perk for existing clients or shareholders.

In addition the rules state that members may not sponsor promotional functions for companies in which they have a direct pecuniary interest, such as a paid directorship or a substantial shareholding.

However, it is acceptable for Members to sponsor social functions primarily aimed at the workforce of a company in which they have a direct pecuniary interest.

Members themselves are responsible for insuring that they follow the rules when booking an event – but can face an investigation by the independent House of Lords Commissioner for Standards if they are found to have reached the rules.

The commissioner then reports to a committee of the House which ultimately has the power to suspend a peer from the House.

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