Peer faces suspension over homophobic abuse of SNP MP

A probe was launched into the conduct of Lord Maginnis' treatment of Livingston MP Hannah Bardell and three other complainants.

Peer faces suspension over homophobic abuse of SNP MP Getty Images

Lord Maginnis should be suspended from the House of Lords for at least 18 months for the bullying and harassment of SNP MP Hannah Bardell and three other complainants, the peers’ standards watchdog has recommended.

The recommendation from the Lords Conduct Committee follows an investigation into the Northern Irish peer’s treatment of Ms Bardell, as well as a parliamentary security officer and MPs Luke Pollard and Toby Perkins.

Lord Maginnis was investigated after being “verbally abusive” to security officer Christian Bombolo when asked to show his parliamentary pass in January.

Ms Bardell witnessed the incident with Mr Bombolo and complained that when she attempted to intervene she was treated “rudely and aggressively by Lord Maginnis, who later used “homophobic and derogatory language about her” in comments to the media.

Lord Maginnis was also investigated for using homophobic language in relation to Mr Pollard in February.

Ms Bardell said the experience had made a profound impact on her mental and emotional health.

She said: “I appreciate that an 18-month ban is a serious sanction and that Lord Maginnis’ return to the House of Lords will be dependant on him undertaking a ‘dedicated course of bespoke behaviour change and coaching’.

“However, I consider it likely that if this had happened in any normal workplace in the UK and someone behaved in such a systematically abusive, bullying and homophobic way, which the report clearly states he has, they would be shown the door.”

The Lords Conduct Committee suggested Lord Maginnis’ suspension could be extended if he does not undergo training and change his ways.

Peers will have to approve the report before the suspension comes into force.