Baroness Warsi rapped by Lords 'sleaze watchdog' for failing to declare flat income
Pakistan-origin Foreign Office Minister Baroness Warsi has been rapped by the House of Lords 'sleaze watchdog' over failing to register rental income.
Warsi, formerly co-chair of the Conservative Party, has accepted the finding and apologised, and the matter is now regarded as closed, the House of Lords Privileges and Conduct Committee said in a report.
Two other peers, Labour's Lord Elder and Ukip's Lord Willoughby de Broke were also found to have breached the Lords Code of Conduct.
According to the Telegraph, the ruling by the independent Lords Commissioner for Standards, Paul Kernaghan followed a complaint from Labour MP John Mann that Warsi failed to register an interest as the recipient of more than 5,000 pounds from renting out a flat in Wembley after she moved closer to Westminster when she was appointed a minister in 2010.
However, the Commissioner ruled that Warsi did breach the Code by failing to register the rental income received from the Wembley flat in the House of Lords Register of Members' Interests, even though she told the Cabinet Office about it, the report said.
"Baroness Warsi was not engaged in any comprehensive scheme to obscure her property interests and it should be noted that her failure to register her rental income did not result in any financial loss to the taxpayer, or additional monetary gain to herself," his report stated.
"Nevertheless, the Code seeks to promote openness and accountability and the absence of monetary gain does not absolve members of the requirement properly to register relevant interests," the report added.