THE woman who accused a senior peer of promising her a peerage in return for sex has called for a radical shake up in the way the House of Lords deals with sexual harassment complaints.

Jasvinder Sanghera, who has waived her right to anonymity, said peers should be obliged to uphold an inquiry’s findings and recommendations and should not be allowed to vote on them.

The 53-year-old sparked an investigation when she alleged Lord Lester of Herne Hill told her if she slept with him she would be a baroness within a year. The prominent QC has strongly denied the allegations, saying they are “completely untrue”.

An inquiry by the Lords standards commissioner found that 82-year-old Lord Lester had sexually harassed Sanghera and offered her “corrupt inducements” to sleep with him.

Peers were then asked to support the recommendation Lord Lester be suspended until June 2022, representing the longest suspension in modern parliamentary history.

But raising objections, leading lawyer Lord Pannick, a friend and colleague of the accused peer, told the House: “I do not know, your lordships cannot know whether Lord Lester committed the acts alleged against him. I would be very surprised but I don’t know.

“What I do know is that the procedure applied by the commissioner for standards was manifestly unfair.”

After the debate last month, they voted to send Lord Lester’s case back to the Lords’ committee for privileges and conduct by 101 votes to 78.

They said the commissioner for standards Lucy Scott-Moncrieff had failed to comply with the code of conduct which required her to act “in accordance with the principles of natural justice and fairness”.

Following the vote, Sanghera said the decision was a “complete disgrace” and made her feel like she had been “abused all over again”. She now faces the possibility of a second vote over her case in the House of Lords.

“They have to deal with this complaint. This is going to go back for another debate. I don’t want to witness and have to put myself through what I witnessed on that day. I had no power. They had the power to undo the decision on the suspension,” she told The National.

Asked if she believes peers should be prevented from debating and voting on such issues, but be obliged to accept the report’s recommendations, she said: “Yes I do. The commissioner is appointed by the Lords. The process of the sub-committee and the privileges committee has been approved by the House of Lords. They are the ones that adopted it. Therefore they are the ones that should accept with confidence the findings of the people who they have appointed to deal with the complaints.”

She added: “The complaint went through a rigorous process. It should not be allowed to go back to the Lords where friends of the peer in question can vote on the outcome. Can you imagine how this makes me feel? So that should certainly change.”

Sanghera gave her views while in Scotland to speak at a conference today on violence against women.

“After the outcome of the privileges committee, I felt closure, but [following the vote and the referral back to committee] it was like the whole thing was undone. It was rubbing salt in the wounds. This has to change.”

She also called for more support to be given to those who make sexual harassment complaints and for the process to be less difficult.

A House of Lords spokesman told The National: “The Privileges and Conduct Committee, the body which recommended Lord Lester be suspended from the House in its report of November 12, is currently considering how to strengthen the Lords code of conduct to implement the independent complaints and grievance process in regards to complaints of against members. This will include looking specifically at bullying and harassment and also ways to make it easier to complain and provide better support for people raising complaints of that nature. It is expected the committee will bring forward recommendations early in the new year.”

Following the Lords vote last month, Lord Lester said in a statement: “I would like to thank David Pannick and those members of the Lords who supported him today recognising the importance of process and now look forward to restoring my reputation.”

Senior deputy speaker Lord McFall of Alcluith said in a statement: “I fully support the commissioner for standards and the work she has undertaken for many months. Every step of the way she followed the processes as agreed by the House and that has not been questioned before today.

“I would also like to express my sympathy to the complainant at what must be a very difficult time for her.”

Sanghera, a campaigner against forced marriage, worked with Lord Lester on a parliamentary bill when the alleged incident occurred in 2006.

She said the peer had told her that if she slept with him he would make her a baroness “within a year”, but if she refused he would ensure she never gained a seat in the Lords.

She lodged a complaint in November 2017 amid the #MeToo movement.