Scots Labour peer defends £235,000 Lords payments

Lord Kirkhill, pictured here in 1975 as the new Minister of State for Scotland. Picture: TSPL
Lord Kirkhill, pictured here in 1975 as the new Minister of State for Scotland. Picture: TSPL
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SCOTTISH Labour peer Lord Kirkhill has defended taking more than £235,000 in payments for taking part in the Lords despite only speaking twice.

The 85-year-old former Scotland Office minister is one of the peers named in a national paper’s investigation which showed that £1.6 million has been paid over the last five years to peers who did not speak at all.

Lord Kirkhill received £156,900 for attending the Lords and £78,747 in travel expenses from Aberdeen.

Peers receive £300 tax free per day they turn up in the Lords.

Lord Kirkhill insisted that he did not speak often because of his age but was always there to vote while his contributions had been “major” ones.

He said: “The allowance system is not fair. I have had a flat in Dolphin Square for 40 years. By the time I have covered my costs that’s it. If you are renting the flat the allowance is adequate but is not all that generous.”

Controversy over the House of Lords has reemerged in the last week over the scandal involving another Aberdeenshire based former Scotland Office minister Lord Sewel after he was photographed cavorting with £200-an-hour prostitutes and snorting cocaine in his Dolphin Square apartment in central London.