In correspondence shared with the newspaper, Lady Boothroyd told the standards watchdog: “The reason I have not been able to respond to the requirements is due to the fact that early in March 2020, I was advised by two consultants to leave London and isolate at my home in the country.
“I had [an] aorta valve replacement followed by [a] leak in [the] mitral valve. The respiratory consultant in particular insisted I stay out of London and in the country.”
Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, the House of Lords commissioner for standards, asked in her response whether the medical condition meant Lady Boothroyd could not attend the course online. Lady Boothroyd said this was the case.
The following day, however, Ms Scott-Moncrief announced she would be investigating Lady Boothroyd regardless.
The peer told the Mail on Sunday: “I’m very happy to be trained when this is all over – you’re never too old to learn.”
Neil O’Brien, the Tory MP, told the newspaper: “The idea that Betty Boothroyd, who is one of the most widely respected parliamentarians of her generation, is some kind of threat because she hasn’t done some online course is beyond laughable.”