Rules state that if a lord is a company director, they should “give a broad indication of the company’s business, where this is not self-evident from its name”. But openDemocracy found that dozens of peers had not done this.
Lord Bamford, who owns digger firm JCB and has given millions to the Conservative Party, said he was also the director of a company called Editallied Limited. But he had not given any further details about what the company did.
Likewise, Alan Sugar did not provide a description of one of his companies, Harper Fox Partners Ltd.
And Julian Fellowes had not given a description of his company, Praemium Intentus.
In total, openDemocracy identified 54 financial interests from 42 peers that may have been in breach of the rules.
Most of these peers were named in a formal complaint to the Standards Commissioner by Tom Brake, the former Liberal Democrat MP who is now director of Unlock Democracy.
“Our democracy will benefit when a clearer explanation of peers’ business interests is provided,” Brake said at the time. “This should already have been done.”
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