Labour’s Lord Pendry is suspended from the House of Lords for a week for bullying a security guard

Labour's Lord Pendry is suspended from the House of Lords for a week for bullying a security guard 2
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Labour’s Lord Pendry is suspended from the House of Lords for a week for bullying a security guard who found one of the peer’s guests wandering unescorted around Parliament

  • Lord Pendry brought two acquaintances into Parliament on visitor passes
  • They have to be escorted in private areas, but one was found wandering alone 
  • After guard brought the guest back, ‘angry and upset’ peer confronted him
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A Labour peer is facing a week’s suspension from the House of Lords  after confronting a security guard who found one of his guests wandering around Parliament.

Lord Pendry brought two acquaintances into the Palace of Westminster in July 2021 on visitor passes which allow them into private parts of the building provided they are escorted everywhere.

But one of them was later found near the Lords chamber alone, looking for a toilet. After taking them to one, the guard returned the guest to a room where the peer and the other guest were waiting.

But afterwards the guard said that Lord Pendry accosted him in Parliament, grabbing his radio and demanding to see his name badge, because he was ‘angry and upset by the way his guest had been treated’. 

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The guard, who served in the Army, described being left ‘physically shaken and unnerved’ after the ‘angry’ peer challenged them and allegedly grabbed their radio during ‘a little bit of a tussle’.

The 87-year-old conceded he had ‘ticked off forcibly’ the staff member but criticised security for ‘flexing their muscles’ against politicians in a manner he has not seen in his half-a-century in Parliament.

But in their report today, the Lords’ conduct committee said: ‘One of the duties of security officers is to challenge individuals who are not displaying a security pass.  

Lord Pendry brought two acquaintances into the Palace of Westminster in July 2021 on visitor passes which allow them into private parts of the building provided they are escorted everywhere.

Lord Pendry brought two acquaintances into the Palace of Westminster in July 2021 on visitor passes which allow them into private parts of the building provided they are escorted everywhere.

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But afterwards the guard said that Lord Pendry (pictured with the late Baroness Trumpington) accosted him in Parliament, grabbing his radio and demanding to see his name badge, because he was 'angry and upset by the way his guest had been treated'.

But afterwards the guard said that Lord Pendry (pictured with the late Baroness Trumpington) accosted him in Parliament, grabbing his radio and demanding to see his name badge, because he was ‘angry and upset by the way his guest had been treated’.

‘This can sometimes make people feel uncomfortable. But we stress that it is incumbent on all members of the parliamentary community to support security officers in their critical work of protecting all those on the parliamentary estate.’ 

‘We also urge members to keep in mind the power imbalance that exists between them and many other members of the parliamentary community, and to remain conscious of the impact of their behaviour. 

‘In the event of disagreements with others in the parliamentary community, they should raise their concerns with the relevant managers and not seek to take matters into their own hands.’

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The former junior minister, Tom Pendry, was found by an investigation to have been ‘verbally aggressive’ and exhibited ‘intimidating behaviour’.

Peers will be asked to approve the suspension from the House, recommended by the Lords’ Conduct Committee, in a vote when they return from a recess later this month.

The report conducted by barrister Akbar Khan, one of the Lords’ standards commissioners, concluded: ‘It is never acceptable to approach a member of staff in a threatening manner or to touch them without their consent.

‘Lord Pendry’s comments about staff ”flexing their muscles” against MPs and peers exhibit an attitude which is out of step with the expectation that all members of the parliamentary community are entitled to be treated professionally and respectfully in the workplace, and to seek a remedy when they are not, in accordance with the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme.’

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The security guard, identified in the report as EF, approached one of the peer’s guests on July 6 last year as they were walking unattended near the Lords chamber, having gone to use the toilet.

Lord Pendry said the guest, a university student attending with his mother, was ‘visibly shaken’ after being ‘frog marched’ by the guard, according to the report.

The peer acknowledged EF was ‘clearly shaken by my having castigated’ them, but denied having touched the guard’s radio after demanding their name, describing the charge as ‘absolute nonsense’. This however was confirmed by a doorkeeper said to have witnessed part of the incident.

‘In my mind of the thing, that is assault. You have touched (their) body without (their) consent,’ the doorkeeper told investigators.

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The guard told Mr Khan they have suffered anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of their time in the Army, as well as depression, and the incident “had set them back a lot just as they were getting on top of managing it all”.

Lord Pendry was MP for Stalybridge and Hyde in Greater Manchester for 31 years before he was given a peerage in 2001.

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