Essex peer returns to work in the House of Lords

Lord Hanningfield has made a return to the House of Lords

Lord Hanningfield has made a return to the House of Lords - Credit: PA

Disgraced Lord Hanningfield has returned to work using one of his first interventions to quiz the Government on plans to encourage the elderly to adopt pets.

The peer, who was jailed for fraud and then suspended from the House of Lords for collecting his allowance by clocking in and clocking out, has so far tabled two questions since he was sworn in a the start of the new parliament after the May 7 election.

The former Essex council leader has served a ban after he was found to be spending only minutes in parliament, yet collecting his £300 daily allowance.

He has not yet spoken in the House of Lords chamber, but has tabled two parliamentary questions.

A device for parliamentarians to obtain information from ministers.

In the first, early this month, he asked what steps the Government was taking “to encourage commuters to give up their seats to the elderly and differently able”.

And this week, he has asked minister what plans they have to encourage the elderly to adopt or interact with pets.

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He said in the question that research had found that animals has a positive impact they can have on people who suffer depression or loneliness.

Figures for how much he has claimed since returning to the House of Lords have not yet been published.

Lord Hanningfield could not be reached for comment.