Socialist Worker

Secrets around Labour peer's arms company lobby meeting

Issue No. 2088

A Labour peer has admitted taking money to introduce an arms company lobbyist to the government minister in charge of weapons purchases.

The lobbyist paid Lord Hoyle for an introduction to Lord Drayson, then defence minister. The lobbyist, Michael Wood, who trades as Whitehall Advisers, agreed to pay Lord Hoyle an undisclosed sum in June 2005. Lord Hoyle then arranged a private meeting between Wood and Drayson.

Wood works for BAE and other arms companies to help get them contracts. He has free run of the parliament because he has a security pass as a “research assistant” to a Tory MP.

The House of Lords disciplinary committee met for the first time ever last month to consider Hoyle’s wrongdoing.

What went on is a secret. Who attended is a secret. Whether Hoyle was punished or not is a secret. As to what the arms dealers got out of buying access that is, well, a secret.

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Tue 12 Feb 2008, 19:06 GMT
Issue No. 2088
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