Peerage for Owen Paterson would be grotesque and offensive, says Sturgeon

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Owen Paterson being given a peerage after his resignation from the Commons would be “grotesque and deeply offensive”, Nicola Sturgeon has claimed.

Mr Paterson stepped down on Thursday amid a debacle which saw the UK Government forced to U-turn following an attempt to overhaul the complaints procedure to save the former cabinet minister from a 30-day suspension.

He had been found guilty by standards authorities of breaching Commons rules by lobbying officials and ministers for two companies paying him more than £100,000 a year.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman on Friday refused to rule out Mr Paterson being appointed to the House of Lords.

Speaking to journalists at Cop26, Scotland’s First Minister – who called the attempts to save Mr Paterson from suspension “classic corruption” – said: “It would be grotesque and deeply offensive that somebody who had been found to breach standards by an independent process of investigation, who ended up resigning from the Commons albeit through a messy process, ended up being put back into politics through the House of Lords.

“But I say that as someone who is opposed to unelected peers sitting in the House of Lords.”

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