‘Pretty strong argument’ to prevent peers claiming daily allowances at home, says lord speaker

The House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in London. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA.

The House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in London. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

There is a ‘pretty strong argument’ that peers should not be able to claim their daily allowance when attending proceedings from home, the lord speaker has said.

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Lord Fowler said he would chair the upper chamber from home, and all proceedings would be digital by Thursday.

He said the House of Lords Commission would consider whether peers will be able to claim their daily attendance allowance of £323 for the virtual proceedings.

The upper chamber will operate behind closed doors for the first two weeks, with transcripts available afterwards, with plans to move to live broadcasts like the House of Commons afterwards.

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Lord Fowler said peers’ membership of select committees would have to be considered, but it was a “pretty strong argument” that members would not have to leave their homes to contribute to proceedings in the chamber.

He told the Today programme: Well I think that’s a pretty strong argument, isn’t it.

“As I say, I don’t want to preclude any discussions. I’m not thinking in terms that we should make a payment to people taking my advice and sitting at home and simply watching proceedings.

“It’s another case if you happen to be a member of select committee, taking evidence and preparing for that evidence.

“We are going to have to go through all those points but we will go through them on Monday with an open mind.”

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