The House of Lords Conduct Committee has suspended an independent Ulster Unionist peer Lord Maginnis for making offensive homophobic remarks.
An inquiry revealed that the 82-year-old peer bullied three MPs and a security guard using offensive homophobic language. Following the findings of the inquiry was given an 18-month suspension from the House of Lords.
Previously, the House of Lords standards commissioner had proposed a 9-month suspension but Lord Maginnis “showed very little insight into the impact of his behaviour on the complainants and no remorse for the upset he had caused, which prompted the committee to double the suspension.
He instead “portrayed himself as a victim of a conspiracy … and continued to refer to the complainants in a disobliging and sometimes offensive manner”, said the committee which also recommended that Lord Maginnis should take up a behaviour change training.
Following a series of incidents at the beginning of the year complaints were brought against the peer.
A parliamentary security officer Christian Bombolo said he was verbally abused by Lord Maginnis when he asked him to show his pass to enter the Palace of Westminster on 7 January.
Following the incident, Lord Maginnis took to the media, using “disrespectful and derogatory” language about Mr Bombolo and “homophobic and derogatory” language about Scottish National Party MP Hannah Bardell who tried to intervene during the incident.
A couple of similar events followed as well as, more complaints against the peer.
“His suspension should not end until that training is successfully completed and Lord Maginnis is able to demonstrate a clear understanding of how his behaviour impacts on other people in the parliamentary community,” said the cross-party committee.
However, the suspension will take effect if approved by a vote of Lords on 7 December.