A Conservative Lord is under investigation for refusing to attend anti-sexual harassment training because he says it would be an act of 'treason' against the Queen

  • Lord James of Blackheath is under investigation for refusing to take mandatory training to prevent sexual harassment or bullying.
  • He told Insider that taking part in the training would be an act of “treason.”
  • Over 700 of his colleagues have taken the course. He says they are “wimps”. 
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A Conservative member of the House of Lords is under investigation for refusing to take part in mandatory anti-sexual harassment training, telling Insider that if he did so it would be an act of “treason” against the Queen.

Lord David James, Baron of Blackheath, 83, is one of four peers remaining under investigation by the House of Lords Commissioner for Standards, Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, for failing to take part in the training programme, introduced to tackle bullying, harassment, and sexual misconduct in Parliament. Peers were given a deadline of completing the training by April 1st of this year. 

James, who was made a life peer in 2006, told Insider: “I have not refused. I’ve said that I will only do it if it is proved to me that I am not committing treason by doing so. And that I am not putting Her Majesty in breach of her coronation oath, which I will not under any circumstances do.”

James says that peers take an oath to uphold the Queen’s coronation oath, and believes that the requirement to do the training is a breach of the legislation which the Queen has sworn to maintain. He told Insider that ‘Strode’s Act’ or the Privilege of Parliament Act 1512 put on statute the principle of free speech in the Parliament.

A spokesperson for Baroness Mone told Insider that Mone was not at fault: “The emails were being sent [to] Baroness Mone’s parliamentary email address which is not working, they know this fine well. Due to Covid this is still not working. As soon as Baroness Mone received the email into her personal email address she booked her training.

“She made many attempts to book the training before the deadline – she has a full record of this. The team has Baroness Mone’s mobile number but never called her.”

The spokesperson added they too had also not been contacted. 

Insider has attempted to contact Lord Kalms and Lord Willoughby de Broke for comment.

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