Look, I\’m no defender of Ashcroft but really, The Observer should be better than this:
Ashcroft promised to become a permanent resident of the UK as a condition of his ennoblement in 2000. A year earlier, he had been rejected as a member of the Lords by the political honours scrutiny committee. But successive Conservative leaders have since refused to reveal whether he has fulfilled his promise to take up UK residency.
Pressure on Ashcroft increased last week when the information commissioner accused the Tory leadership of being \”evasive and obfuscatory\” over his tax status, the Guardian revealed. The Cabinet Office has been ordered to reveal within 29 days the nature of the undertaking that Ashcroft made to become domiciled in the UK when he became a peer in 2000.
Residency and domicile are two different things!
It\’s very difficult indeed to see why someone needs to be domiciled in the UK in order to be a peer: Lord Paul, on the Labour benches, is not domiciled.
If Ashcroft promised something then sure, he should be held to that promise. But can we please at least try and be accurate about what it is that he promised so that we can then decide whether he has kept it?