NI peer Lord Ken Maginnis accused of 'abusing' parliament security staff by SNP MP Hannah Bardell

Former Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) MP, Lord Ken Maginnis, has been accused of "abusing" parliament security staff by Scottish National Party (SNP) MP Hannah Bardell.

Ms. Bardell, who is MP for Livingston, said she witnessed Lord Maginnis calling security staff "crooked" and saying "do you know who I am?" after they refused him entry as he had forgotten his pass.

The incident happened on Tuesday but was raised as a point of order by Ms. Bardell during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons on Wednesday afternoon.

"Yesterday on re-entering the building for the first time after Christmas I witnessed one of the worst cases of abuse of security staff that I have seen in my time here," said Ms. Bardell.

"One of the members of the other place (Lords), who I will name so as not to incriminate anybody else, Lord Ken Maginnis, had forgotten his pass, something we've all been guilty of.

"However, instead of taking the advice of the security staff, who as we all know are here for our security and our safety, he proceeded to verbally abuse and shout at both the member of staff, calling them 'crooked', saying 'did they not know who he was, he'd been here 46 years', and refusing to take the advice and assistance of both myself, the security staff and the police that then attended.

"I have reported this incident to the authorities but I seek your advice as the member is not elected, so I'm interested to know to whom he is accountable and what can be done to make sure no member of staff on the estate is ever treated in that way or abused in the manner which I and others witnessed yesterday."

The new Speaker of the House, Sir. Lindsay Hoyle (Labour MP for Chorley) told Ms. Bardell that he was aware of the situation.

Lord Ken Maginnis. (Photo: PA Wire)

Sir Lindsay replied: "No member of staff of either House should have to put up with abuse.

"I would say we have a policy that runs through all of this estate and I'd always encourage members to respect the people carrying out their duties to make sure we are safe.

"What I would also say is normally we would not name a member of either House in this way, but what I do take very seriously is that staff carrying out their duties should not have to put up with abuse.

"We are aware of the situation. I'd expect those in another place (the Lords) to look into that and I want to reassure those staff that it will not be tolerated and we will ensure that message goes across to all members of both Houses."