Page last updated at 18:19 GMT, Friday, 30 January 2009

Truscott interview tape released

Lord Truscott
Lord Truscott has denied breaking parliamentary rules

The Sunday Times has published a secretly filmed video of Lord Truscott on its website, one of the four peers it alleges were willing to alter legislation in the House of Lords in return for cash.

The clip shows a meeting between the former energy minister and its journalists who were posing as lobbyists at the time.

According to the newspaper, the meeting took place on 21 January at a hotel in London.

During the meeting, Lord Truscott is asked about the work he could undertake for a potential client which the reporters were claiming to represent.

Lord Truscott and the three other peers involved in the row have denied breaking parliamentary rules.

The Sunday Times has already published an audio clip of an undercover meeting between its reporters and one of the other peers accused of misconduct, Lord Taylor.

The claims against the four peers are being investigated by two parliamentary committees and have led to calls for a police inquiry.

The footage of the interview with Lord Truscott, selected excerpts of which are published below, was heavily edited by the newspaper. You can watch the footage by visiting the newspaper's website.

Journalist: How far are you are able to help us on all of us

Lord Truscott: Well as I said to you before I can work with you over it. It is.. identifying people obviously following it, identifying people to meeting with people, talking with people to facilitate the amendment and to make sure the thing is drafted.

I think it has got to be a partnership as it were because I don't think for even two days a month I am not going to be able to go away and do the whole shooting match on my own.

I know some of the MPs. I know all the Tories in the Lords so I have no problems with approaching them. I think, as I said, it might be worth having the first bite of the cherry in the Commons.

Then I think the other thing is identifying who can be approached to put forward amendments at various stages and maybe other bodies to contact.

I think that comes down to a bit of a mix. You talking to some people, me talking to some people, sometimes both of us talking to people together to put something through.

And also there will probably be a different style maybe in the Commons and in the Lords.

In the Commons it might be better for.. I'll identify the MPs but it might be better for you to talk to the MPs unless I particularly know an MP and have a word with him.

And then I see the Lords people on my own because I know everyone in the Lords who is active. So I am quite happy to talk to them on my own.

Journalist: How would you actually manage to find the right person to do that in that particular instance?

Lord Truscott: Well it has to be a member that has to move an amendment. It can be one of the frontbenchers or it can be an individual member.

Journalist: So with the smart energy, you found a person who was willing to table amendments?

Lord Truscott: Amendments were moved both in the Commons and the Lords on that one.

Journalist: And those amendments effectively changed the legislation in so far as it took account of your client's view and your client's needs?

Lord Truscott: Well.. I mean...Yeah.. I mean.. they were happy with the result.



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