POLITICS
08/01/2020 13:27 GMT | Updated 09/01/2020 11:37 GMT

Peer Accused Of Launching Tirade Of Abuse At Parliament Security Staff

Lord Ken Maginnis, who was convicted of a road rage assault in 2013, allegedly shouted at security staff and called them 'crooked' after he forgot his pass to get in.

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A peer who was once convicted of a road rage assault has been accused of launching a tirade of abuse at security staff in the House of Lords, calling them “crooked” after he forgot his pass to enter parliament.

Lord Ken Maginnis was accused of “one of the worse cases of abuse of security staff I have seen” by SNP MP Hannah Bardell.

The Northern Ireland peer, who was in 2013 found guilty of assaulting a man in a road rage incident, allegedly abused security staff after he arrived at parliament having forgotten his ID pass.

Normally, members of parliament, journalists and staff working in the Palace of Westminster would then need to get a temporary day pass issued by officials at a pass office.

But Lord Maginnis instead shouted at security staff and questioned why they did not know who he was after 46 years in parliament, Bardell claimed.

Raising a point of order after prime minister’s questions, she told the Commons: “Yesterday on reentering the building for the first time after Christmas I witnessed one of the worst cases of abuse of security staff that I have seen in my time here.

“One of the members of the other place [Lords] who I will name so as not to incriminate anybody else – Lord Ken Maginnis – had forgotten his pass, something that we have all been guilty of.

“However, instead of taking the advice of the security staff who as we all know are here for our security and our safety, he proceeded to verbally abuse and shout at both the member[s] of staff, calling them ‘crooked’, saying did they not know who he was, he had been here for 46 years, and refusing to take the advice and assistance of myself, the security staff and the police that then attended.

“I have reported this incident to the authorities but I seek your advice as the member is not elected, so I am interested to know to whom he is accountable and what can be done to make sure no member of staff on the estate is ever treated in that way or abused in the manner which I and others witnessed yesterday?”

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Commons speaker Lindsay Hoyle said he expected the Lords authorities to look into the issue.

Hoyle replied: “No member of staff of either House should have to put up with abuse.

“I would say we have a policy that runs through all of this estate and I would always encourage members to respect the people who are carrying out their duties to make sure we are safe.

“Normally we would not name a member of either House in this way but what I do take very seriously is that staff carrying out their duties should not have to put up with abuse.

“We are aware of the situation, I would expect those in another place [the Lords] to look into that and I want to reassure those staff it will not be tolerated and we will ensure that that message goes across to all members.”

HuffPost UK has approached Lord Maginnis for comment.

A House of Lords spokesperson said: “We can’t comment on the specifics of this particular incident.

“Parliament has a clear behaviour code which defines what is and isn’t an acceptable way to behave.

“All members of staff have the right to work in an environment free from abuse or bullying.

“Unacceptable behaviour will be dealt with seriously, independently and with effective sanctions.”