PR professional Lord Laird is no stranger to controversy

Background: peer was also caught up in controversy in March after he described as a “minor misdemeanour” sexual allegations against US businessman Christopher Knight

Lord Laird: “I have not broken any rules. However, I have referred the situation to the appropriate authorities.” Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Lord Laird: “I have not broken any rules. However, I have referred the situation to the appropriate authorities.” Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Mon, Jun 3, 2013, 01:00


Lord Laird said yesterday he had “not broken any rules” following cash for access allegations.

“I did not agree to act as a paid advocate in any proceedings of the house nor did I accept payment or other incentive or reward in return for providing parliamentary advice or services,” he said in a statement.

“I have not broken any rules. However, I have referred the situation to the appropriate authorities and I will be making no further statement until I have received their ruling.”

Lord Laird, a public relations professional, was also caught up in controversy in March after he described as a “minor misdemeanour” sexual allegations against US businessman Christopher Knight, who was attempting to buy the Belfast Giants ice-hockey team.

Mr Knight pleaded no contest in a US court to charges dating from 2003 of lewd/lascivious battery, sex with a victim 12 to 15 years old.

Adjudication was withheld, and he was placed on the state of Florida’s sex offenders’ register.

Ulster Unionist Party leader Mike Nesbitt remonstrated with Lord Laird at the time over his comments.

Lord Laird subsequently apologised for his remarks. He said he was professionally associated with Mr Knight at the time in an attempt to bring inward investment into Northern Ireland.