Lord Swaraj Paul, two other Asian peers suspended from House of Lords

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London, Oct.21 (ANI): Labour peers Lord Swaraj Paul, Lady Uddin, and crossbencher Lord Bhatia were suspended from the House of Lords here on Thursday for allegedly cheating the taxpayer out of tens of thousands of pounds in wrongly claimed expenses.

The three Asian peers were suspended after the upper chamber approved the damning judgments of its privileges and conduct committee.

The committee found that Swaraj Paul, a steel magnate and one of Britain's wealthiest men, lived in London but designated a one-bedroom flat in an Oxfordshire hotel that he owned as his main home.

However, the Committee observed that Lady Uddin claimed more than 100,000 pounds between 2005 and 2010 by stating that her main residence was a small flat in Maidstone, Kent, rather than her family home in east London.

Lord Bhatia had claimed 27,446 pounds in expenses on the basis that his main home was a small flat occupied by his brother in Reigate, Surrey, even though he and his wife were listed on the electoral roll at their long-standing address in Hampton, south-west London.

The Lords Conduct and Privileges Committee recommended that Lady Uddin, who has failed to apologise or repay 125,000 pounds in illegitimately claimed expenses, be barred from Parliament until April 2012 - the harshest punishment handed out to a peer since the 17th century.

Lord Bhatia, who has repaid 27,000 pounds, was suspended for eight months, and Lord Paul, who returned 42,000 pounds, for four months, The Telegraph reports.

The Committee ruled that Lady Uddin and Lord Bhatia had not acted in good faith, but that while Lord Paul, one of the richest men in the country, was "grossly irresponsible and negligent," but he had not been "dishonest".

All three also claimed travel expenses.(ANI)

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