DISGRACED peer Lord Hanningfield has said it would be impossible for him to be stripped of his title – and that he wants to go back to the House of Lords.

It comes after Essex County Council leader David Finch announced he would write to the House asking it to start proceedings to remove Lord Hanningfield’s peerage.

Lord Hanningfield, 73, was jailed for nine months in 2011 for fiddling his expenses, but served only 12 weeks of his sentence Since then, Essex County Council has been considering whether or not to chase him for a further £50,000 that the authority claims he wrongly spent on its credit card.

He said: “They can’t strip me of my peerage. It’s like getting married – you can’t get unmarried. It’s not like getting a knighthood or a CBE or something. 

"At the moment there’s no way a peerage can be stripped.”

He added that he wants a return, but is keen to work in a more relaxed manner looking at issues such as the bee population being poisoned by sprays.

The House of Lords Reform Act was passed earlier this year and means peers can have their titles removed if they fail to attend a whole session of Parliament or if they are convicted of a serious criminal offence and sentenced to a year in prison.

A House of Lords spokesman said: “Lord Hanningfield was not sentenced to a year in prison and, as such, it wouldn’t be possible to have his peerage removed on that basis.”

However Mr Finch has said he will continue to pursue Lord Hanningfield to have his title removed.