A footnote to previous coverage of Lords McAlpine and Laidlaw, two non-dom Conservative members of the House of Lords. They had both for a long time been unmoved by criticism of their tax affairs, but ahead of changes to the law they have both decided to give up their seats in the Lords.
Lord McAlpine’s case was relatively straight-forward, but Lord Laidlaw’s case had the added twist that he broke a promise he made on being appointed. Indeed, the Lords Appointment Commission was subsequently moved to say that they would not have authorised his peerage if they had known he was going to break his promise to cease being a tax exile.
David Cameron’s willingness to turn a blind eye to this (he not only didn’t withdraw the party whip, but the Conservatives carried on taking donations from Laidlaw) always contrasted very poorly with his actions against some Conservative MPs.
Let’s hope that under Lords reform that if any appointed peers remain, breaking commitments in such a way in future results in expulsion from the House of Lords.