Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Lord Taylor of Warwick: a fall from grace to disgrace

I am sad to hear that John Taylor, Baron Taylor of Warwick, has been convicted of fiddling his parliamentary expenses to the tune of over £11,000. He apparently falsely claimed for a home in Oxford that was not his main residence (which was in Ealing) and for related travel and subsistence expenses.  It is hugely embarrassing for Lord Taylor who was a committed Christian.   I knew him when he used to attend the Home Office Christian Fellowship when he was a Special Adviser to the Home Secretary and Ministers of State (1990-1991). In 1996, at the age of 42, he was created a life peer, "the first black Tory peer".  ( David Pitt, Baron Pitt of Hampstead, was the first black peer in 1978.)

As a former barrister at law (who was called to the Bar in 1978) he cannot claim to be ignorant of the law, which is no excuse. Lord Taylor argued that he had been acting on the advice of colleagues, which means that fiddling parliamentary expenses must be common practice.  Lord Taylor, however, was caught and found guilty.

Some have sympathy for him, as parliamentary peers are not paid a salary for their work. Others are not sympathetic at all because they do receive a generous daily attendance allowance and such blatant dishonesty should be punished with a custodial sentence, like the dishonourable former MP David Chaytor (18 months) and perhaps Eric Illsley who awaits sentence.

I am also sad to learn that his marriage to Katherine ended in 2005 after 24 years.

Lord John Taylor has his troubles, trials and temptations but he still has his precious faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who will provide him with grace sufficient in this time of need.  Before the throne of grace John can receive help, forgiveness, mercy and comfort.

No comments:


River Stour