19:43Its always interesting to see one of our less used laws getting some attention. The Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925 has had only one outing in its 80 years on the statute book. It was passed following the scandal of blatant sales of honours under prime minister David Lloyd George.
Lloyd Georges bagman in the honours scandal was Arthur Maundy Gregory. Gregory carried on seeking cash for honours even after Lloyd George left office. In 1933 he was caught out, fined £50 and sent to prison for six months for trying to sell a knighthood. No one has been prosecuted under the Act since.
This either means the Act has been phenomenally successful in stamping out abuse of the honours system or that nobody has been that bothered about it. Readers must decide for themselves.
Complaints by Scottish National Party about the Labour Party loans and peerages controversy have now brought the Act off its dusty shelf and into the news. The Metropolitan Police announced that the Specialist Crime Directorate is investigating.
Prime Minister Tony Blair asked on BBCs breakfast TV programme this morning whether he expected to be interviewed by the police replied Look Im not giving a running commentary on this one.