'Thief spent less' than his wife says North East Peer, with a deadpan delivery that left the House of Lords in laughter.

The former police chief for County Durham has said he did not report his wife’s stolen credit card, because the thief spent less than she did.

Lord Mackenzie of Framwellgate left the chamber unsure whether he was joking or not as he recalled the incident and joked of his wife's spending habits, in the House of Lords.

Lord Mackenzie said: “My wife, on one of her rare visits to London, had her credit card stolen.

“And I monitored the use of the card and I have to say I didn’t report it to the police, because the thief was spending less than she was.”

After the ludicrous comment, Peers across the House erupted into laughter.

Treasury minister Baroness Vere of Norbiton responded: “I think, in these circumstances, one should always report these matters to the police.”

Lord Mackenzie is a former chief superintendent in Durham and was also the president of the Police Superintendents Association for three years.

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The non-affiliated peer was born in Darlington and has gradually risen through the ranks of the police service.

First becoming a Superintendent upon secondment to the Home Office and later becoming Chief Superintendent for Durham Constabulary.

In 1998, Lord Mackenzie was raised to the Peerage as Baron Mackenzie of Framwellgate, of Durham, however since July 3, 2013, Lord Mackenzie has sat in the House of Lords as a non-affiliated member.