Tory peer resigns whip after foul-mouthed drunken outburst at parliament bar

Politics

A Tory peer has resigned the government whip after he was found to have bullied and harassed two people while drunk.

Lord Kulveer Ranger, a former adviser to Boris Johnson, faces being banned from the House of Lords bars following an investigation into his conduct.

He has apologised for his behaviour and given up the whip – meaning he will have to sit as a non-aligned peer.

A statement from the whip’s office said: “Lord Ranger has resigned the government whip and apologised for his actions, which were an unacceptable breach of the standards of the House, and of parliament.

“The committee has recommended a sanction, which should be respected.”

The House of Lords Conduct Committee recommended Lord Ranger be suspended from the House for three weeks following an investigation into an incident in parliament’s Strangers’ Bar in January.

The committee also recommended he be banned from the House of Lords bars for 12 months.

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The committee’s report said Lord Ranger had been “visibly drunk” and made “various inappropriate comments” to a group of people.

He then returned to the same group and “acted aggressively, shouting and swearing”, calling them “f*****g useless” and “invading their personal space”.

Lord Ranger served as Mr Johnson’s transport advisor when he was Mayor of London and was ennobled in the former prime minister’s resignation honours list.

He subsequently apologised to the complainants, saying he did not recall the incident but was “deeply mortified at the descriptions of my behaviour” and “saddened to hear that I caused you distress”.

Lord Kulveer Ranger was Boris Johnson's transport adviser when he was Mayor of London.
Image:
Lord Kulveer Ranger was Boris Johnson’s transport adviser when he was Mayor of London.

He did not attempt to excuse his behaviour but said it was a “wholly uncharacteristic outburst” at a time when his wife and children’s health issues had “taken a significant toll” on his physical and mental health.

The House of Lords Standards Commissioner originally recommended that Lord Ranger be suspended for just one week but the Conduct Committee increased the sanction after finding his behaviour had been “particularly serious”.

The committee said: “Lord Ranger’s bullying behaviour was prolonged in duration, with two separate incidents separated by up to an hour, alcohol was an important factor, and it led to a finding of harassment as well as bullying.”

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The committee also noted the impact on the complainants, one of whom said the incident had made her “more wary about her interactions with people” and left her with trouble sleeping.

As well as suspending Lord Ranger for three weeks, the committee recommended he be banned from the House of Lords bars for 12 months to “underline the House’s disapproval of alcohol-related misconduct” and invited House of Commons authorities to institute a similar ban for its own facilities.

The suggested sanctions still need to be approved by peers, who are expected to vote on the recommendations in early June.

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