This week it was the turn of former Ulster Unionist MP (and now House of Lords peer) Ken Maginnis, 83, who made the news after he was suspended from the UK House of Lords for 18 months over allegations of bullying, harassment, and homophobia.

The report presented by the Lord's conduct committee runs to 106 pages, delving into serious complaints made about Maginnis by SNP MP Hannah Bardell, parliamentary security officer Christian Bombolo and Labour MPs Toby Perkins and Luke Pollard. 

Maginnis, unperturbed that the motion was carried by 408 votes to 24 voted against it, as did former UUP MP Lord Kilclooney (John Tayor) and the DUP peers William McCrea and Maurice Morrow.

Lord Kilclooney also caused international uproar last month when he referred to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as “the Indian.”

He was previously rebuked for his racism when he referred to the then taoiseach Leo Varadkar as a “typical Indian” in 2017. To date, no action has been taken by the Lord's conduct committee over Kilclooney's remarks.

Meanwhile, the gospel singing Lord William McCrea, 72, has been described by the LGBT publication Pink News as “one of the most homophobic politicians in Britain.”  Clearly, ulster unionism is doing itself no favors on social media, where its elder statesmen are increasingly coming across as bigoted dinosaurs.

Statement on the suspension of Lord Maginnis for bullying & harassing me, a member of parliamentary security staff and two other MP’s.👇 pic.twitter.com/TgJudM8ZMA

— Hannah Bardell MP 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏳️‍🌈 (@HannahB4LiviMP) December 3, 2020

Maginnis  was subjected to the conduct investigation after Bardell reportedly witnessed him bullying a security guard in "one of the worst cases of abuse of security staff" she had ever seen.

Maginnis had been asked to show his security pass when he launched into a do-you-know-who-I-am tirade. He became so rude and aggressive that Bardell felt she had to intervene, she told the investigation.

The Huffington Post later quoted Lord Maginnis as saying in response to the incident: “Queers like Ms Bardell don't particularly annoy me.”

The new Lords report makes clear that Maginnis does not acknowledge his behavior was unacceptable. “At times during the investigations, he was dismissive of the incidents and the impact they had on the complainants and continued to use disrespectful language in relation to Ms Bardell and Mr Pollard and was also disrespectful of Mr Bombolo,” it reads.

Showing no remorse for his words or actions over the course of the investigation Maginnis instead insisted he was the real victim and the target of a conspiracy.

Significantly, his suspension will not be lifted until he completes behaviour change training, which he has called a "mockery" and said he will refuse to do.

Hannah Bardell MP is asking whether the first ever expulsion from the Lords may be needed if he continues to refuse

— Arj Singh (@singharj) December 7, 2020

Bardell meanwhile told BBC Scotland that she had received credible death threats and abusive mail after speaking in the Commons about Lord Maginnis's behavior.

In the report on Maginnis, Lucy Scott-Moncrief, The House of Lords Commissioner for Standards, has recommended that he be suspended from the Lords for at least 18 months while he undergoes “bespoke behavior change training and coaching.”

Ordinary people get fired, but unrepentant boorish grandees like Lord Maginnis get “coaching” and a simple suspension. But that's two-tired Britain - busy marching lockstep into the past - for you.

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