SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Lady Falkender claims £128,000 for five years of taxis to Lords


Harold Wilson’s former private secretary Baroness Falkender offers eloquent proof that silence is golden.While the Labour peer has not made a single verbal or written contribution in more than 40 years in the House of Lords, her continuing presence on the red benches through declining health has led to a hefty bill for the taxpayer.

For the past 15 years, in addition to claiming a £300 daily attendance allowance, she has qualified to be ferried by taxi to and from the upper house due to an unspecified disability.Between 2006 and 2011, the former Marcia Williams claimed £128,000 from a fund to help disabled members with extra travel costs, peaking at £3,700 in a single month. Details of her claims before 2006 have been destroyed ‘in accordance with procedures’ as data is kept for only a limited time, the Lords says.

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