Coffee House

New working peers announced

1 August 2013

Here is the list of new working peers. It features a number of donors and cronies, which is not remotely surprisingly. And yesterday’s party hacks get gifted a tomorrow – Annabel Goldie being the most conspicuous example. There are one or two interesting names, though – Doreen Lawrence and Daniel Finkelstein, for instance. No UKIP peerages, you’ll note.  

Conservative party

  • Richard Balfe – former MEP and Conservative Party Envoy to the Trade Unions and Cooperative movement
  • Sir Anthony Bamford DL – Chairman and Managing Director of JCB
  • Nicholas Bourne – former Leader of the Conservative Group in the National Assembly for Wales
  • Matthew Carrington – former Conservative MP
  • Daniel Finkelstein OBE – Associate Editor of The Times and former Head of Policy for the Conservative party
  • Annabel Goldie DL MSP – Conservative Member of the Scottish Parliament; former Leader of the Scottish Conservatives
  • Lady (Fiona) Hodgson CBE – campaigner on women’s issues; senior member of the Conservative voluntary Party; former Chairman of the Conservative Women’s Organisation
  • Christopher (Chris) Holmes MBE – former Paralympic swimmer; Director of Paralympic Integration at London 2012; Non-Executive Director of the Equality and Human Rights Commission; and a former Non-Executive Director of the Disability Rights Commission
  • John Horam – former MP; Conservative representative on the Electoral Commission
  • Howard Leigh – senior corporate finance professional; Conservative Party Treasurer; former Chairman and current President of Westminster Synagogue; former Trustee of Jewish Care and current Chairman of Jewish Care’s Business Group; Trustee of the Jerusalem Foundation in the UK
  • Dame Lucy Neville-Rolfe CMG – former senior civil servant, including Number 10 Policy Unit; former leading Executive at Tesco Plc
  • Sir Stephen Sherbourne – longstanding political career in Westminster and public affairs, including former Political Secretary to the then Prime Minister (Margaret Thatcher), and former Chief of Staff to the then Leader of the Opposition (Michael Howard)
  • Michael (Mike) Whitby – Conservative Councillor in Birmingham; former Leader of Birmingham City Council
  • Susan Williams – former Councillor and Leader of Trafford Council

Green party

  • Jenny Jones AM – member of the London Assembly; former Chair of the Green party of England and Wales and former Deputy Mayor of London

Labour party

  • Sir Charles Allen CBE – Non-Executive Director of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games; Chairman of Global Radio Group
  • Sir William Haughey OBE – prominent Scottish businessman and CEO of City Refrigeration Holdings
  • Alicia Kennedy – former Deputy General Secretary of the Labour party
  • Doreen Lawrence OBE – campaigner for justice, race equality and better policing
  • Jonathan (Jon) Mendelsohn – business advisor and co-founder of LLM Communications

Liberal Democrat party

  • Catherine (Cathy) Mary Bakewell MBE – former leader of Somerset County Council
  • Rosalind (Olly) Grender MBE – former Director of Communications for Shelter; former Director of Communications for the Liberal Democrats
  • Christine Mary Humphreys – President of the Welsh Liberal Democrats; former Member of the National Assembly for Wales
  • Zahida Manzoor CBE – former Legal Services Ombudsman; former Deputy Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality
  • Brian Paddick – former Deputy Assistant Commissioner in the Metropolitan Police Service
  • James Palumbo – co-founder and chairman of Ministry of Sound Group, the international music and entertainment business
  • Jeremy Purvis – former Member of the Scottish Parliament for Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale
  • Alison Suttie – former Press Secretary to the President of the European Parliament; former Deputy Chief of Staff to Nick Clegg and Election Manager for the 2010 General Election
  • Rumi Verjee CBE – entrepreneur and philanthropist
  • Sir Ian Wrigglesworth – Liberal Democrat Treasurer; former MP for Teeside Thornaby and for Stockton South


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Show comments
  • roger

    The whole house of ‘Lords’ stuffing farce has got totally out of hand, having siphoned off the law lords to a superior court can we now send the lords spiritual to a glorified ethics think-tank and then set up a legislature revising chamber with, say, 400 working members on fixed time tenure with county based elections (like a German Bundesrat).
    The peerage should go the way of ‘Lords of the manor’, cultural history only.
    Also abolish all the honours system except OM (24 members) and CH (50?)

  • Noa

    Time to hold a moratorium onparty cronyism and appoint no more peers.

    If we cannot democratically elect a second chamber which is an effective counterbalance to the oligarchy that the Commons has become, let us at least save ourselves the considerable cost of maintaining the many self inflated egos collected within it.

  • Alex

    The professional political class strengthen their stranglehold on power.
    After all, we wouldn’t want anybody to slow down the gravy train, or try to hold back the ever-expanding power of the state, would we.

  • stanedeid

    Unionist brown-nosing continues in Westminster.

  • itdoesntaddup


    How much cash for how many peerages?

    How many column inches and Newsnight minutes gets a peerage?

  • Fergus Pickering

    Oh God, that dreadful Lawrence woman. Is she going to be the next Pope?

    • Colonel Mustard

      She is set become Britain’s first female black American president before that!

    • Noa

      Why pick on the Pope? As the leader of the Roman Catholic faith, founded in turn upon the Nicene Creed, proclaiming one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church it is not possible for a woman, even Doreen Lawrence, to be Pope.

      But Archbishop of Canterbury? Now, that is an entirely different matter.

  • Makroon

    I have to say, after it’s 13 years of inactivity on her case, Doreen Lawrence has a touching faith in the Labour party.
    Who would be the UKIP nominees ? (they shouldn’t feel hard done by, no Nats either).
    At least the LibDem list doesn’t include Huhne – I wouldn’t put it past them !

    • Airey Belvoir

      I believe that most young black men who are murdered are killed by other young black men. Maybe the newly-ennobled Lady Lawrence will apply her energies to this growing social problem.

    • David Lindsay

      I said,
      “No, Ed, give it to dear Doreen this time. I can wait. Lady Lawrence of
      Lewisham alliterates in the same way as Lord Lindsay of Lanchester. But
      shaming both the National Executive Committee and the Constituency
      Labour Party by giving me a peerage would suggest that you had come out
      of your Primrose Hill shell since you became the MP for an old mining
      area. Well done.”

    • Eric the Scotland

      The SNP constitution prohibit’s their members from taking peerages or sitting in the HoL.

  • Wessex Man

    Sad but only two of them should become working peers Sir Anthony Bamford and Sir William Haughey. The rest should not be allowed to run a Charity Shop!

  • Robert Taggart

    They forgot to ask Moi !

  • Austin Barry

    Brian Paddick is an interesting choice. Who can forget his hilarious ‘Sandy and Julian’ comedy partnership with Kenneth Williams back in the days when homosexuality was illegal.

    One exchange from the ‘Round the Horne’ radio show featured the following taboo- breaking exchange when Kenneth Horne consulted Sandy and Julian, posing as lawyers:

    ‘HORNE: Will you take my case?

    JULIAN: Well, it depends on what it is. We’ve got a criminal practice that takes up most of our time.

    HORNE: Yes, but apart from that, I need legal advice.

    SANDY: Ooh, isn’t he bold?

    Congratulations Brian.

  • HookesLaw

    It’s pretty pathetic to call the former leader of the scottish conservative party a ‘failed hack’.
    It is by all means possible to criticise her (or not as the case may be) for her performance … but a hack?
    Perhaps you spend too much time with real hacks Mr Blackburn

    • Eric the Scotland

      That was rather an unfortunate remark. Goldie is held in high esteem even by non Tory voters. She’s probably the most deserving of all in the list.

  • Colonel Mustard

    Amazing. And the “progressive” reformers think this is better for the country than hereditary peers? Pressure group campaigners – can they really represent the interests of the majority?

    • dalai guevara

      You mean Danny Finkelstein, hammering home party political decision-making before Parliament even hear about it?

      • HookesLaw

        Whats wrong with that. Political parties make decisions, frame laws and put them to parliament.

        • dalai guevara

          I was merely expanding on the term ‘pressure group’.

          • HookesLaw

            He is a ‘hack’ and I do not see that many pressure groups. Mr Mustard complains but one of his back scratchers is a former secretary to Thatcher and assistant to Howard. A serious person who has been around and done a proper political job.

            What we see here is a typical knee jerk reaction. ‘Thinking’? wots that?

            • Colonel Mustard

              Stap me, a “former secretary” and “assistant”. Well, hush my mouth. How such weighty magnificence must dazzle the wraiths of Agincourt companions and the ghosts of the Somme.

      • Colonel Mustard

        All of them, but him yes. 9:11 time and chance blessed non-entities the lot, no doubt with a deal of greasing, oiling, back scratching and back stabbing to ease the “climb”.

        • dalai guevara

          Beautiful, I dare not visualise it.

      • David Lindsay

        Good day for the SDP: Finkelstein, John Horam and Sir Ian Wrigglesworth all sent to the Lords, all for the Coalition, the first two as Tories.

      • CharlietheChump

        DF – leader of the socdem enterist tendency to the Tories

        • dalai guevara

          No, a c t i v e journalist of the Murdoch press writing Gidiot’s bad speeches.
          Only in Britain does that not constitute a conflict of interest.

    • HookesLaw

      You mean like the Duke of Westminster?
      Since the current system favours Labour, my solution would be to abolish the Lords and increase the number of MPs and have smaller constituencies. With more MPS there would be numbers available for committees to do the revising work currently done in the house of lords
      It might make a plausible excuse for a small number of people to be elected on party lists.

      • Colonel Mustard

        I’d rather have grumpy hereditary Lords, invariably conservative and male, gumming up the “progressive” works and with gimlet-eyed cynicism slowing down the torrent of “something must be done” and “let’s think up something else to control or ban” legislation being projectile vomited from the hordes of women primary school teachers in the Commons and Brussels.

        It was once called check and balance and we were rather good at it.

        • David Lindsay

          Depends what you mean by “conservative”.

          Many upper-class people were shocked to the core by their youthful experiences during the First World War, or by the rise of Fascism in the 1920s and 1930s, or by the realities that confronted them during the Second World War.

          Many sat as Labour MPs. Some sat as Labour hereditary
          peers; there were always a few, as there still are.

          While one, Wogan Philipps, the second Baron Milford, sat for 31 years, between inheriting and dying, as a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain, providing it with a parliamentary platform up to 50 years after it had lost the few Commons seats that it had ever won.

          Yes, you read aright: the only Communist Member of Parliament was there, and there for decades, as an application of the hereditary principle.

          It was as wrong to silence the voice of the aristocratic social conscience by abolishing hereditary barons as to silence the voice of organised labour by abolishing trade union barons.

    • Abhay

      The real aristocracy is gone
      The ‘mercantile’ and ‘egalitarian’ set is entrenching itself ‘progressively’
      Traditionalist and conservatives will be out of tears soon

      • CharlietheChump

        I knew this would happen when they let “Trade” in.

  • Colin

    Will it ever end?

    • huktra

      It cannot end with these proportions:-

      14 Conservative
      10 LibDems
      5 Labour

      Who can explain

      • Colonel Mustard

        That’s 29 too many – or 15 if you believe in the least worst option.

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