‘Visibly drunk’ peer who called people ‘f---ing useless’ banned from Parliament bars

Lord Ranger made 'inappropriate comments' and was 'acting aggressively', the conduct committee report said
Lord Ranger made 'inappropriate comments' and was 'acting aggressively', the conduct committee report said - Avalon

A peer who drunkenly called a group of people “f---ing useless” has been banned from Parliament’s bars for a year.

Lord Kulveer Ranger of Northwood resigned the Conservative whip on Friday after the House of Lords Conduct Committee upheld allegations of bullying and harassment.

The committee recommended Lord Ranger be suspended for three weeks and banned from Lords bars for a year.

A former adviser to Boris Johnson, Lord Ranger was ennobled last year as part of Mr Johnson’s resignation honours list and gave his maiden speech in November, two months before the incident.

A spokesman for the Whips’ Office confirmed he had resigned from the Conservative Party following the publication of the Committee’s report.

“Lord Ranger has resigned the Government whip and apologised for his actions which were an unacceptable breach of the standards of the House, and of Parliament,” the spokesman said.

The report found the 49-year-old was “visibly drunk” on the night of Jan 17 and made “various inappropriate comments” to a group of four people, including the two complainants, in Parliament’s Strangers’ Bar.

Between half an hour and an hour later, Lord Ranger approached the group for a second time and was “acting aggressively” as he engaged them in conversation.

One of the witnesses, who is referred to as JK in the report, said in her complaint: “[Lord] Ranger – whom I had never met before – approached my group on two occasions that evening.

“The first time he stood very close to my right side, physically pressing himself up against me and coming very close to my face. I made a number of attempts to step away from him during this conversation.

“Later that evening he returned to our group and we began a conversation about his work. During this conversation he became aggressive, raising his voice and swearing at us, calling us ‘f---ing useless’.”

Ennobled last year, Lord Ranger was a transport adviser to Boris Johnson when he was mayor of London
Lord Ranger was a transport adviser to Boris Johnson when he was mayor of London - Oli Scarff/Getty Images Europe

The second complainant, referred to as LM, recalled that the peer “repeatedly jabbed his finger in both our faces and got very close while angry”, adding: “He also roughly grabbed both our parliamentary passes which were round our necks to read our names.

“I found him physically intimidating and towards the end of the conversation, I was shaking.”

During his conversation with the group, Lord Ranger also asked whether a publication being discussed was a “porn magazine” and tried to hold the hand of one of the witnesses.

The peer admitted to the Commissioner for Standards that he could not remember the incident but said he had drunk several glasses of wine in Strangers’ and another parliamentary bar earlier in the evening.

Strangers’ Bar staff recalled Lord Ranger returning to the bar later in the evening and trying to order some shots, at which point a barman explained to him they did not sell shots and decided he was too drunk to serve.

The committee noted one of the complainants had been made “more wary about her interactions with people” as a result of her experiences and went on to have trouble sleeping.

In a letter of apology, Lord Ranger said: “I am deeply mortified at the descriptions of my behaviour. I must say I have little recollection of the incident but that is in no way to diminish how you both have described my actions or how they made you feel.”

He also claimed health issues experienced by his family led to him acting “completely out of character”, but the Commissioner said his reasons “do not excuse nor explain bullying behaviour”.

Lord Ranger, who sits on the board of TechUK, made a wide range of media appearances as a political pundit while the investigation was ongoing and in March hosted an event on the parliamentary terrace to mark International Women’s Day.