Local lords a-claiming as bill tops £144,000

Lord Palmer at Manderston House.
Lord Palmer at Manderston House.

Three Liberal Democrat grandees from the Borders claimed a total of £103,201 in allowances for attending the House of Lords in 2016.

In addition, Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope, Lord Steel of Aikwood and Lord Purvis of Tweed received £41,024 in expenses, mainly for travel.

That is a grand total of £144,228 – an average of £13,111 per month over the 11 months when the Upper House was in session.

Members of the Lords are entitled to claim up to £300 for each sitting day they attend.

Topping the list was Lord Purvis, who, as Jeremy Purvis, was the Lib Dem MP for Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale from 2003 until 2011.

The 43-year-old, who hails from Berwick-up-Tweed, claimed £51,146, comprising £38,850 for attendance and £12,296 in expenses.

Hansard records that Lord Purvis spoke on 11 occasions in the Chamber – an average of once a month.

Former Borders MP Lord Steel, a life peer since 1997, received £28,200 for attending and claimed expenses of £19,045 – a total of £47,249.

The 79-year-old, who lives in Selkirk, spoke in seven Lords debates last year.

As Archy Kirkwood, Lord Kirkwood, 71, was MP for Roxburgh and Berwickshire from 1983 to 2005. The most prolific speaker of the trio, Lord Kirkwood claimed a total of £45,833, comprising £36,150 for attending and £9,683 in expenses.

Another Lib Dem peer, erstwhile Berwick-upon-Tweed MP Lord (Alan) Beith spoke in numerous debates and claimed a total of £46,760.

Meanwhile, Borders-based crossbencher Lord Palmer of Manderston received £40,400 for attending and £8,720 in expenses.

The 65-year-old member of the famous biscuit-manufacturing dynasty spoke on four occasions last year.