"The House of Lords has taken the unprecedented step of publishing a 'cease and desist' letter on its website demanding that Lord Christopher Monckton, a prominent climate sceptic and the UK Independence party's head of research, should stop claiming to be a member of the upper house.
The move follows a testy interview given by Monckton to an Australian radio station earlier this month in which he repeated his long-stated belief that he is a member of the House of Lords. When asked by ABC Sydney's Adam Spencer if he was a member, he said: 'Yes, but without the right to sit or vote … [The Lords] have not yet repealed by act of parliament the letters patent creating the peerage and until they do I am a member of the house, as my passport records. It says I am the Right Honourable Viscount Monckton of Brenchley. So get used to it.'
The letter, sent by David Beamish, clerk of the parliaments, to Monckton last Friday and now published on the Lords' website, states: 'You are not and have never been a member of the House of Lords. Your assertion that you are a member, but without the right to sit or vote, is a contradiction in terms. No one denies that you are, by virtue of your letters patent, a peer. That is an entirely separate issue to membership of the House. This is borne out by the recent judgement in Baron Mereworth v Ministry of Justice (Crown Office).'"