Peter Snape, Baron Snape

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Lord Snape
Member of Parliament
for West Bromwich East
In office
28 February 1974 – 7 June 2001
Preceded by Constituency Established
Succeeded by Tom Watson
Personal details
Nationality British
Political party Labour

Peter Charles Snape, Baron Snape (born 12 February 1942) is a Labour Party politician in the United Kingdom. He served as Member of Parliament (MP) for West Bromwich East until he stood down in the 2001 election. He is the current Chairman of his hometown football club, Stockport County, as well as a major shareholder in the club.

Career[edit]

He once lived at Greenwood Gardens, Bredbury and was a railwayman and Bredbury and Romiley Urban District councillor representing Bredbury South ward. He was elected as Labour Member of Parliament for West Bromwich East in 1974, after which he moved to live in Buglawton. He retained links with the Bredbury area, serving for a time as a director of Stockport County Football Club, which he is now once again as of 2010. He held a number of government posts.

He was the member who formally proposed Michael Martin to be the new Speaker in 2000. He stood down in the 2001 election and was made a life peer as Baron Snape, of Wednesbury in the County of West Midlands in 2004.

Orange juice incident[edit]

During the 1992 General Election campaign, Conservative MP Edwina Currie poured a glass of orange juice over Snape shortly after an edition of the Midlands-based debate show Central Weekend had finished airing.[1] Speaking about the incident later, Currie said, "I just looked at my orange juice, and looked at this man from which this stream of abuse was emanating, and thought 'I know how to shut you up.'"[1] A civil court (High Court action) led to compensation of £15,000 from Currie after she "falsely suggested in her memoirs that it happened after Snape had been 'drinking vodka in a club with cronies'."[2]

Controversy[edit]

In late January 2009 the Sunday Times alleged that Lord Snape was one of four Labour Lords who had agreed to support legislative changes that were favourable to large businesses in exchange for cash. Two of its reporters, posing as lobbyists for a foreign company looking to set up a chain of shops in the UK, approached a range of peers to see if they could be bribed to help the company to obtain an exemption from the Business Rates Supplements Bill. The paper stated Snape agreed to do so in exchange for a fee of £24,000.[3]

Acquittal[edit]

Although the Lords' Sub-Committee found that Lord Snape "expressed a clear willingness to breach the Code of Conduct",[4] the Privileges Committee considered the matter and took further evidence, concluding that he did not "express clear willingness to [act] in return for financial inducement,".[5]

They found no reason to doubt Snape's "assertion that his intention to consult the Registrar before taking any steps was genuine, the meeting with the journalists was on Thursday, and they telephoned him within 24 hours to reveal the sting."[5] However, they felt his conversation with the journalists "demonstrated an inappropriate attitude to the rules governing the conduct of Members" and they therefore invited him to make a personal statement of apology to the House.[5]

Arms[edit]

Arms of Peter Snape, Baron Snape
Adopted
2006
Coronet
Coronet of a Baron
Crest
A Demi Unicorn Azure armed winged and unguled Or supporting with both feet a Grenade Azure fired Or
Escutcheon
Azure within each of two pairs of Endorses Argent a Lozenge throughout all between three Lozenges throughout in fess Or
Supporters
On either side a Snipe reguardant Azure beaked and legged Or
Motto
LABOR NON NEQUIQUAM
Latin: "NOT WORKING IN VAIN"
Symbolism
Baron Snape has a long association with Stockport whose Arms feature three gold lozenges on a blue field. The endorses suggest railway lines with the smaller lozenges being a vehicle thereon. The snipe are clearly a punning allusion on the grantee's name.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Whitney, Craig R. (29 March 1992). "Tories Say Party's Strategy Is Hurting Campaign". New York Times. Retrieved 3 June 2009. 
  2. ^ "BLACK DOG: Edwina slur that made Snape sue". Daily Mail. 31 January 2009. Retrieved 12 March 2010. 
  3. ^ 'Whispered over tea and cake: price for a peer to fix the law', Sunday Times, 25 January 2009
  4. ^ The Conduct of Lord Moonie, Lord Snape, Lord Truscott and Lord Taylor of Blackburn Lords' Committee on Privileges
  5. ^ a b c "LORD SNAPE'S APPEAL (para44)". publications.parliament.uk. 14 May 2009. Retrieved 12 June 2010. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for West Bromwich East
February 19742001
Succeeded by
Tom Watson