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A peer from Northern Ireland has been suspended from the House of Lords for at least 18 months for bullying and harassing three MPs and a security guard.

Peers voted to suspend Lord Maginnis following the allegations by a vote of 408 to 24.

The Lords Conduct Committee recommended the measure following an inquiry into the Northern Ireland peer’s treatment of a parliamentary security guard and MPs Hannah Bardell, Luke Pollard and Toby Perkins, which found he had used homophobic slurs.

The committee suggested that Lord Maginnis’ suspension could be extended if he did not exercise and change his habits.

The former Fermanagh and South Tyrone MP was investigated after he “verbally abused” security guard Christian Bombolo in January when he was asked to show his parliamentary passport.

Mr Bombolo told Lords Standards Commissioner Lucy Scott-Moncrieff he felt “humiliated” and “worthless” by the incident, adding: “I’ve lost my prestige, my dignity.”

Responding to the watchdog’s recommendation, the SNP’s Ms Bardell, who witnessed the incident with Mr Bombolo, said Lord Maginnis would be shown “the door” to “any normal workplace”.

Livingston’s MP noted that his return was conditional on the colleague completing a behavior course: “However, I think it is likely that if this happened in a normal workplace in the UK and someone was so systematically abusive, bullying and homophobic, which he believes clearly stated, they will be shown the door.”

According to the commission’s report, Ms Bardell complained that when she tried to intervene in the clash between the colleague and the guard, she was treated “rudely and aggressively” by Lord Maginnis, who later commented on “homophobic and derogatory language about his ” which is used. to the media.

Commenting on the Huffington Post at the time, Lord Maginnis was quoted as calling Ms Bardell “strange” and accused her of receiving “cheap publicity” by raising the incident as a point of order in the House of Commons.

Lord Ken Maginnis

The Metropolitan Police confirmed in January that they were investigating an allegation of hate crime in the House of Commons after the clash was made public.

Lord Maginnis was a former MP for the Ulster Unionist Party, but announced his decision to resign from membership in 2012 after the leadership distanced himself from calling same-sex marriage “unnatural and deviant behaviour” and associating it with animality.

As part of the most recent investigations into his actions, he was also investigated in February 2020 for homophobic language in relation to Mr. Pollard, after expressing his displeasure with the Labor MP chairing a meeting of the Defense All-Party Parliamentary Group.

He complained about Mr Pollard’s behavior to the group’s leader, James Gray MP, sending an email with the subject line “Gay discrimination”.

In his complaint, Shadow Environment Minister Pollard said he was “shocked and amazed that this type of behavior would occur in Westminster” and said the Ulster politician’s emails made him feel “a victim of abuse”. .

The committee’s report found that Lord Maginnis had shown a lack of remorse.

“In his oral appeal, Lord Maginnis showed very little understanding of the impact of his actions on the complainants and no remorse for the disturbance he caused,” the committee said.

Rather, he portrayed himself as the victim of a conspiracy of people who disapproved of his views and insisted that all his behavior be provoked.

“He also continued to make unkind, and sometimes hurtful, references to the complainants.”

In response to questions from the standards commissioner about the incident with Ms Bardell, the 82-year-old reportedly accused the MP of a “severe mental illness and psychopathic disorder” and described the allegations as “lienous hate speech”.