Lord Laird has form in ‘understanding’ the line between lobbying and representation…

It seems this is not the first time Lord Laird has fallen on the ‘complicated’ side of parliamentary rules… From February 2000, not long after his appointment as a peoples peer the Guardian reported that he and Lord Rogan had failed to declare their lobbying interest in Northern Ireland…

When contacted by The Observer , Laird denied any conflict of interest. There was no difficulty with his role as chairman of a PR company which offered clients ‘public affairs’ consulting, he said.

He said he had never, as a peer, lobbied personally on behalf of his clients in Westminster, and had ‘never heard the issue voiced’ as to whether he had a conflict of interest.

On any occasion when he had spoken on issues relevant to his company’s clients, such as the Police Federation NI, he insisted that he had always made it clear that a relationship existed.

‘It is important that one maintains the very highest standards,’ he said. ‘Lobbyists have to be cleaner than clean.’

Adds: And, eeek, courtesy of Spinwatch, May 22nd

On her LinkedIn page Bridgette Bester, PA to Lord Laird describes herself as ‘currently a PA to a Lord in Parliament’. However, she notes, ‘due to unforeseen circumstances’ she is ‘looking for an opportunity as a PA’. Bester suggests that her parliamentary pass will be made available to any future employers:

“I hold a pass to Parliament which is extremely rare, due to my circumstances in leaving this position Lord Laird has told me it is fine to keep by (sic) pass if it benefits my next role for effective networking.”

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  • iluvni

    Miss Bester’s LinkedIn page appears to have been updated with regards to the pass and rather suspiciously, her employment dates

  • Barnshee

    laird ?@ was he not the chap who took taxis to/from Dublin?
    Fill yer boots lads its only taxpayers money

  • Comrade Stalin

    The obscene part is there’s no way to throw them out. These people have no constituency, and are appointed for life.

  • RegisterForThisSite

    Comrade, if you want obscene………..

    Besters LinkedIn profile also says…. I do everything from personal task to looking after his business ventures one of which is in early start up stage and is extremely demanding……..fairly innocent so far.

    Her entry on the Lords register of interests
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld/ldsecret/130311/130311.pdf states she is also …….”PA, Time Is On Your Side Ltd (telecommunications)”…….a company that Lord Laird is a director of……..still fairly innocent

    BUT…….who else is a director? someone called Christopher Knight, who is he, well he is a registered Sex Offender from the USA who recently tried to buy the Belfast Giants ice hockey team.

    THe BBC headline is “Lord Laird defends dealings with registered sex offender in Florida”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-21885725

    “In May 2011, the peer made a declaration on the House of Lords register of interests. This was as a paid advisor to Knight Communications, a company co-founded by Mr Knight.

    It was an association which was to last right up until the Belfast Giants deal was killed and Mr Knight’s background was about to become public.

    Lord Laird told us: “A way back at the very start, well, not the very start but near the start, I gave advice to him and for that he gave me a small monetary reward.”

    For four months, Lord Laird was also a director of another company with which Mr Knight had links called Time is On Your Side Limited.

    But he resigned that position just a matter of days after the Odyssey told him it could not be associated with Mr Knight.

    At the same time, he removed his advisory role with Knight Communications from the Lords register.”

    I think Bester has dropped Lord Laird in it as it would appear that his involvement with Knight is more than advisory and he was actually a business partner in the deal.

    Incidentally Knights crime was “The register’s “crime description” is of two charges of “lewd/lascivious battery, sex with victim 12-15 years old”, dating from 2003. ”

    Whats amusing about it is his sentence was …….Adjudication was withheld and he was given five years’ sexual offender probation and was placed on the state’s sex offender register.

    Now then why does “five years” have a familiar ring to it in regards to serious crimes……mmmmmh