The House of Lords has stepped up its efforts to make Lord Monckton – climate sceptic and deputy leader of the UK Independence party – desist in his repeated claims that he is a member of the upper house.
The push comes as Buckingham Palace has also been drawn into the affair, over his use of a logo similar to parliament’s famous portcullis emblem.
Last month Michael Pownall, clerk of the parliaments, wrote to Lord Monckton, a hereditary peer, stressing that he should not refer to himself as a member of the House of Lords, nor should he use any emblem representing the portcullis.
In a letter seen by the Guardian, Monckton replied this week to Pownall stating that he considered the House of Lords Act 1999, which “purported” to exclude all but 92 of the 650 hereditary peers from the Lords, to be “defective”.
Monckton argued that the act did not remove membership because peerages are granted by “letters patent” which are a personal gift of the monarch.
The House of Lords said today it strongly rejects Monckton’s interpretation. A spokeswoman said: “Lord Monckton is not and never has been a member of the House of Lords. The clerk of the parliaments has written to Lord Monckton, confirming that he has no association with the House and advising him to stop branding himself as such.”
Monckton also argues that his use of the portcullis emblem, which has appeared on his letterheads and lecture presentations, does not breach any rules. The spokeswoman added: “The emblem is property of the Queen, and parliament has a royal licence granted for its use. … he has been referred to the Lord Chamberlain over the issue, and it will fall to him to follow up on any misuse of the emblem.”