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Independent peer banned from House of Lords over ‘homophobic and offensive’ language after inquiry into bullying claims

Independent peer banned from House of Lords over ‘homophobic and offensive’ language after inquiry into bullying claims
A British peer has been banned from the House of Lords for 18 months after a standards watchdog found he had broken conduct rules towards four people by using “homophobic and offensive” language.

Alongside their recommendation of an 18 month suspension, the Lords Conduct Committee released a statement claiming that “Lord Maginnis’ harassment related to the protected characteristic of sexual orientation and the language he used was homophobic and offensive.”  

The House of Lords approved the ban on Monday and endorsed the findings of the report after Maginnis refused to take part in behaviour training, as mandated by the committee, instead calling the request “ridiculous.”

Maginnis was accused of verbally abusing a parliamentary security officer when he was asked to show his security pass in January. SNP MP Hannah Bardell claims the peer became rude and aggressive when she intervened in what she claims was one of the worst cases of abuse of security staff. A month later, it was reported that Maginnis had sent an email about Bardell and fellow MP Luke Pollard in which he made homophobic remarks.

He has defended himself against the claims, arguing that he is the victim of a campaign by LGBT rights charity Stonewall, which had demanded that he “step up and accept responsibility for his behaviour and apologise to those he has hurt.” 

However, the Lords Conduct Committee found he had shown little insight into the impact his behaviour had on the individuals involved, and showed no remorse for the hurt that was caused. 

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Maginnis, a former Ulster Unionist MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, was appointed to the House of Lords as a life peer in 2001.

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