The Lord Snape
|Member of the House of Lords|
|Assumed office |
9 June 2004
|Member of Parliament|
for West Bromwich East
28 February 1974 – 14 May 2001
|Preceded by||Constituency established|
|Succeeded by||Tom Watson|
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 from February 1974 until he stood down in the 2001 election. He is the former Chairman of his hometown football club, Stockport County, as well as being a major shareholder in the club at the time. Lord Snape became Vice-Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Speedway Racing in July 2015.
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 created a life peer as Baron Snape, of Wednesbury in the County of West Midlands on 9 June 2004.
Orange juice incident
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. 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.'"
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.
Although the Lords' Sub-Committee found that Lord Snape "expressed a clear willingness to breach the Code of Conduct", 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,".
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." 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.
The Sunday Times agreed to publish the findings of the Privileges Committee and agreed to pay a 'substantial sum' towards Lord Snape's legal costs.
- "Register of All-Party Groups:Motorcycle Speedway". Parliament.uk. 30 July 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2017.
- "No. 57325". The London Gazette. 15 June 2004. p. 7433.
- Whitney, Craig R. (29 March 1992). "Tories Say Party's Strategy Is Hurting Campaign". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 June 2009.
- 'Whispered over tea and cake: price for a peer to fix the law', Sunday Times, 25 January 2009
- The Conduct of Lord Moonie, Lord Snape, Lord Truscott and Lord Taylor of Blackburn Lords' Committee on Privileges
- "LORD SNAPE'S APPEAL (para44)". publications.parliament.uk. 14 May 2009. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Peter Snape