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House of Lords Sleaze Probe

One of the peers being reported to the police in the 'cash for amendments' scandal is Baroness Coussins, the former director of the alcohol industry’s Portman Group.

BARONESS COUSSINS

The former chief executive of the Portman Group, an organisation funded by the drinks industry “to promote responsible behaviour”, was ennobled in 2007. She now runs her own consultancy company which has represented clients from the "food and drinks industries". However, she does not declare the firm's clients on the Lords' register of interests.

She is now accused of tabling 27 amendments to a private member's bill on alcohol promotion. The peer attempted to block new proposals warning pregnant women of the risk of drinking alcohol. Baroness Coussins argued that the present system was adequate. She denies having discussed her intervention with her clients.

Source Daily Telegraph 2 February 2009


Baroness Coussins has responded to the accusations in a letter to the Financial Times, available here.