Lib Dem peer to be suspended by House of Lords over sexual harassment case

The Guardian‘s Peter Walker reports:

The Parliamentary investigation into this case summarised the allegations as:

In November 2017, the Commissioner received a complaint alleging that Lord Lester of Herne Hill had sexually harassed the complainant, had offered her a corrupt inducement to have sexual relations with her, and had warned her of unspecified consequences if she did not accept his offer…

We endorse the conclusions of the [House of Lords Commissioner for Standards] that in respect of that conduct Lord Lester of Herne Hill breached the provisions of the Code in failing to act on his personal honour by sexually harassing the complainant and offering her corrupt inducements to sleep with him.

As the report rightly also says:

The tragic irony of this case is that for decades past the respondent has been one of the most widely known, effective and admired of those campaigning for racial and sexual equality in this country, a renowned supporter of human rights and freedoms across the board.

A reminder, indeed, that however good or effective someone might be, that isn’t a reason to think allegations against them should be ignored or are wrong.

Lord Lester’s membership of the Liberal Democrats was suspended earlier this year when the allegations were made.


Former Liberal Democrat peer Lord Lester, who has been accused of sexual harassment, will not be immediately suspended from the House of Lords.

The Lords committee that oversees members’ behaviour had written a report recommending that Lord Lester of Herne Hill be immediately suspended.

But the issue was debated on Thursday, and peers voted to send the case back to the committee to look at it again. [BBC]

House of Lords report on allegations against Lord Lester

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