The Sunday Times has reported that four peers offered to help make amendments to legislation for up to £120,000. Here are profiles of the peers, who all deny the allegations.
Lewis Moonie, the MP for Kirkcaldy from 1987 to 2005, stood down at the last election, after boundary changes. This allowed his neighbouring MP and friend, Gordon Brown, to stand in the new seat of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath. Mr Moonie was given a peerage in 2005. In 1997, he was left out of Tony Blair's first government and was instead made a member House of Commons Commission. He became minister for veterans in 2000, a job he held until 2003. In the Lords, he sits on the economic affairs committee and the Finance Bill sub-committee. Before politics, Lord Moonie, 61, trained in psychiatry and worked a as a clinical pharmacologist and medical adviser in the pharmaceutical industry. He is married with two sons.
Before politics he worked on the railways as a signalman, goods guard and clerical officer. As Peter Snape he was MP for West Bromwich East from 1974 to 2001, serving as a government whip from 1977 to 1979. During Labour's opposition in the 1980s he was a spokesman on defence, home affairs and transport. He lists transport as his main political interest and was leader of Bredbury and Romiley Urban District Council from 1971 to 1974. He was ennobled in 2004.
LORD TAYLOR OF BLACKBURN
Lord Taylor, 79, is a former leader of Blackburn Council and a friend of the town's MP, Justice Secretary Jack Straw. He donated money to the local Labour Party ahead of the 2001 and 2005 elections. He was awarded an OBE in 1969, a CBE in 1974 and became a peer in 1978. Lord Taylor worked for BAE systems as a consultant from 1994 to 2005 and has been an adviser to several energy and other businesses since the mid-1990s, including Electronic Data Systems, Experian and Canatxx Energy Ventures. Canatxx donated £3,000 to Mr Straw in 2004 for a dinner to celebrate his 25 years as an MP. The donation was not declared until December last year and Mr Straw recently received a rebuke from the parliamentary commissioner for failing to declare it. Lord Taylor is a non-executive director at Adivision and Eisis, an adviser to BT and president of the Wrens Hotel Group.
A former MEP for Hertfordshire, Peter Truscott was ennobled in 2004. He was a defence minister from 2005 to 2006 and a trade minister from 2007 to 2007. Lord Truscott also served as a councillor in Colchester, Essex, and came third when he ran for the Torbay constituency in the 1992 general election. He is a member of the European Union sub-committee. He has spent most of his working life as a writer and academic and is the author of a biography of Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin. Lord Truscott, 49, is a consultant and non-executive director for a number of firms working mainly with non-renewable resource extraction and public affairs companies throughout Europe and Russia.