HL Deb 18 September 2003 vol 652 c191WA
Lord Patten

asked the Leader of the House:

Why it is that duly appointed Opposition Front-Bench spokesman may not claim any allowance on sitting days when their duties take them away from attendance in the House, for example to speak at a conference in north-western England, or to visit a hospital in north-eastern England. [HL4455]

The Lord President of the Council (Lord Williams of Mostyn)

There are two main sources of public funds available to support the costs of work related to the parliamentary duties of Opposition Front-Bench spokesmen.

These sources are the Peers' Reimbursement Allowance scheme and the Financial Assistance to the Opposition Parties ("Cranborne money").

If their travel is not on party business, Front-Bench spokesmen may recover the costs of travel on parliamentary business within the United Kingdom from the Peers' Reimbursement Allowance scheme, on the same basis as Back-Bench Members. In common with other Members, Front-Bench spokesmen may not claim subsistence costs arising from such journeys under the Peers' Reimbursement Allowance scheme, since such allowances can only be claimed after attendance at a sitting of the House or a committee.

Cranborne money is the money provided by the House to fund the Opposition parties in the House of Lords. The House agreed to a substantial uprating of Cranborne money funds in 2002. It is up to each party to choose how to use the Cranborne money funds allocated to them.