Fifteen new Liberal Democrat Peers appointed

Fifteen new Liberal Democrat working peers have just been announced…

  • Dr Sarah (Sal) Brinton – Executive Director of the Association of Universities in the East of England
  • Dee Doocey OBE – Chair of the London Assembly
  • Qurban Hussain – Deputy Group Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Luton Borough Council
  • Judith Jolly – Chair of Executive Committee of Liberal Democrats in Devon and Cornwall
  • Susan Kramer – former Liberal Democrat MP
  • Raj Loomba – businessman and campaigner for widows’ rights
  • Jonathan Marks – commercial and family law QC with specialist interest in human rights and constitutional reform
  • Monroe Palmer OBE – Liberal Democrat Councillor and Chair of Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel
  • Jenny Randerson – Liberal Democrat Member of the National Assembly for Wales for Cardiff Central, former Minister in the Welsh Assembly Government
  • John Sharkey – Chairman of the Liberal Democrat 2010 General Election campaign
  • Nicol Stephen – Former Deputy First Minister of Scotland (2005 – 2007) and leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats (2005 – 2008)
  • Ben Stoneham – Liberal Democrat HQ Operations Director
  • Mike Storey CBE – Primary School Head teacher, former Leader of Liverpool City Council, Liberal Democrat Councillor and former Lord Mayor of Liverpool;
  • Paul Strasburger – businessman and philanthropist
  • Claire Tyler – Chief Executive of Relate
  • Eight of the new peers came from the Interim Peers list: Dee Doocey was on the 2006 list, Jonathan Marks, Monroe Palmer and Ben Stoneham were on the 2008 list, Sal Brinton is on the 2010 list (announced last Saturday) Nicol Stephen has been on every version of the list as an ex-MP, Susan Kramer was added this summer as an ex-MP and Jenny Randerson would have gone onto the list next summer as a retiring AM.

    27 new Conservative peers were announced, 10 new Labour peers, 1 Plaid Cymru peer and 1 Crossbench peer.

    This produces a House of Lords comprised as follows:

    Labour: 244
    Conservative: 220
    Lib Dems: 94
    DUP: 4
    UUP: 3
    UKIP: 2
    Crossbenchers: 182
    Lords Spiritual: 25
    Others: 18

    You can find the full list of appointments, including the new Conservative, Labour, Plaid Cymru and Crossbench peers at the Downing Street website.

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    This entry was posted in Parliament.


    • Not very many!

    • Far too many!

    • And I should add that my comment refers to all the new peers, not just the Lib Dems. The House of Lords is a disgraceful anachronism that should be abolished.

    • Enlight_bystand 19th Nov '10 - 11:53am

      Also of note, Barroness Scott is now on the Appointments Commitee

    • Grace Goodlad 19th Nov '10 - 12:03pm

      Hurrah for Qurban! But yet again some very disturbing choices elsewhere…

    • Anthony Aloysius St 19th Nov '10 - 12:08pm

      What’s the betting they’ll be there for the rest of their lives?

    • Where’s Lord Pack? A real shame and opportunity missed for our party.

    • @Anthony Aloysius St: Remote.

    • Paul Kennedy 19th Nov '10 - 12:17pm

      I won’t name the peers involved, but it is disgraceful that Labour and the Tories still seem to be rewarding their leading donors. They tar the whole list.

    • “How many of these names came from the Interim Peers List?”

      8/15 – Doocey was on the 2006 list, Marks, Palmer and Stoneham were on the 2008 list, Brinton is on the 2010 list, Nicol Stephen has been on every version of the list as an ex-MP, Susan Kramer was added this summer as an ex-MP and Jenny Randerson would have gone onto the list next summer as a retirning AM.

    • Foregone Conclusion 19th Nov '10 - 12:20pm

      One of the most promising items on the government’s agenda is the proposal on the cards for Lords reform. Although it’s great to see some fantastic names on the list (I’m always happy and proud when prominent figures in civil society become our peers, like Claire Tyler), there are also some rather odd ones (if you search ‘Paul Strasburger’ on google, most of the hits are about how much money he’s given to us). That’s why we need a reformed House of Lords – power corrupts, especially as far as the dispensation of patronage is concerned, whoever’s in power. We must finish what Lloyd George started!

    • Paul Kennedy – I don’t think Paul Strasburger has been parsimonious with his money.

    • Ha ha by rewarding our donors with seats in the Lords we are absolutely continuing what Lloyd George started!

    • Paul Kennedy 19th Nov '10 - 12:32pm

      Thanks, Kevin. I didn’t know. Was he on our elected list?

    • Liberal Neil 19th Nov '10 - 12:52pm

      Good to see us increasing ethnic minority representation but why so few women again?

    • Anthony Aloysius St 19th Nov '10 - 1:08pm

      “if you search ‘Paul Strasburger’ on google, most of the hits are about how much money he’s given to us”

      And also how he is a close associate of Michael Brown – having paid for Brown’s defence and put up the bail money for him – the police investigating Brown later having raided Strasburger’s home!

      What the **** is the party thinking of, giving him a peerage? Astonishing.

    • @Mohammed

      Monroe has been a party member and activist for many years. he was Treasurer of the Liberal Party and has been a councillor for I think 30 years. he is also a prominent figures in the Jewish community.
      An excellent choice

    • Duncan Borrowman 19th Nov '10 - 1:17pm

      Mixed bag. Great news about Qurban! Middling news about some others. Totally depressing news about some more…

    • It is difficult to describe the process used to select these peers as democratic, when so few of the successful candidates have come from the elected Peers Panel.

      Mr Sharkey, it seems, is being rewarded for the useless job he did running the 2010 campaign. Why not reward people who really do know about campaigning and actually win elections now and again? Peter Chegwyn, for instance?

      While I do not doubt that Mr Strasburger has done wonderful things in Bath, the public will inevitably form the impression that he has “bought” a peerage, and that is how the media will spin it. The more and more he turns up and does the business, the less and less that impression will stick.

      Why anyone should want to “buy” a peerage, I cannot imagine, but there we are.

    • .
      Representative democracy goes backwards!

      The number of unelected lawmakers increases as the number of elected politicians is cut.

      What don’t they understand about democracy?

    • Is it right that people who have been rejected by the electorate as legislators by the public get put back in by appointment just a few months later?

      (This is a policy argument as I have a high opinion on Sal and Susan – Qurban I don’t know much about other than his biog)

      What did the policy state about the numbers that should be from the elected panel etc?

    • A Voice from Lothian 19th Nov '10 - 1:49pm

      RichardSM – the number of MPs won’t be cut until 2015. If Labour Peers vote for House of Lords reform and for elections to a Senate to start in 2015; up to 150 new Senators could be elected by Proportional Representation on the same days as the next General Election in 2015. Net result the number of elected politicians goes up. Mind you on previous evidence will Labour Peers actually do that?

    • Anthony Aloysius St 19th Nov '10 - 1:52pm

      Mr Strasburger says:
      “I am a donor and I have got a peerage. If people think those things are linked that is up to them. They may or may not be right, I don’t know.”

    • @A Voice from Lothian

      According to my reckoning, with the 55 peers added in May after the general election, plus another 50 or so today, the House of Lords must be 820+ now.

    • Would someone tell me what the difference is between a party legitimately rewarding those who have given them financial donations with a peerage and so called “cash for honours”?

      And why, when the population will have increased by nearly three million next year we need to lose 50 accountable, elected representatives in the House of Commons and yet can increase the number of unelected, unaccountable representatives in the Lords by over a 100. I’m not being disingenuous, I really would like to know.

    • Anthony Aloysius St 19th Nov '10 - 2:11pm

      “Would someone tell me what the difference is between a party legitimately rewarding those who have given them financial donations with a peerage and so called “cash for honours”?”

      Oh, come on – that’s easy!

      When Labour does it, it’s “cash for honours”

      When the Lib Dems do it, it’s legitimate.

      When the Tories do it, it depends whether or not they’re in coalition with the Lib Dems at the time.

    • Depressing to see more lords appointed instead of getting rid of the lot (with the possible exception of the crossbenchers)

    • I agree with Ultimo Tiger. As a liberal I utterly hate the idea of the House of Lords. It is unelected and unaccountable. It also works perfectly as a revising chamber. The standard of debate in the Lords is much higher than in the Commons, it is less partisan and generally does a good job of ensuring that legislation does its job properly. It also knows that it is not an elected chamber and, as such, has questionable legitimacy. Their Lordships therefore usually steer clear of all out conflict with the Commons. They will challenge the Commons, but they know that they are ultimately only a revising chamber, and will normally back down if the Commons is absolutely set on a course of action. In short, the House of Lords is a disgrace in theory, and an amazing asset in practice.

    • @Sesenco
      “Mr. Sharkey, it seems, is being rewarded for the useless job he did running the 2010 campaign.”

      Quite agree. It could be argued that John Sharkey’s failure to seize the momentum when Nick Clegg’s ratings soared after the first debate has led to today’s present uncomfortable situation. We could really have done with those extra 20-25 MPs who would otherwise have been elected had not the campaign “fallen apart”, as Nick lamented in the Observer.

      Now Lord Sharkey is to be Vice Chair of the ‘Yes to Fairer Votes ‘ campaign……..

    • Anthony Aloysius St
      Thank you Anthony, now I understand.

      Now, would somebody please tell me why, when the population had increased by nearly three million since 2001, we need to lose 50 M.P.s? If someone can supply me with a satisfactory answer I’ll support the proposition. Honest.

    • MacK,

      “Now, would somebody please tell me why, when the population had increased by nearly three million since 2001, we need to lose 50 M.P.s? If someone can supply me with a satisfactory answer I’ll support the proposition. Honest.”

      I take it that’s a facetious question, since the answer is fairly obvious (weakening Parliament and all that). A more pertinent question is why the Liberal Democrats (at least Clegg and his acolytes) are supporting it, and a plausible and coherent explanation has yet to reach my ears.

      On the point about defeated MPs returning to the Legislature through the back door, I recall a mini fuss being made about Thatcher putting Hamish Gray in the Lords after his erstwhile electors rejected him in favour of Charles Kennedy.

    • Dinti Batstone 19th Nov '10 - 3:55pm

      Only Labour put forward a gender balanced list.

      However our 6/15 is rather better than the Tories’ 6/27.

      Quality is great, but quantity matters too… and yes we can have both!

    • Patrick Smith 19th Nov '10 - 5:06pm

      8 out of the 15 appointed new L/D`s are from the Peerage Lists and vindicates that the Members have democraticaly chosen them, unlike the other polical parties, where all are appointed by the Party Leaders.

      A new rule should be brought in to ensure that all Peers when elected, actually agree to record a reasonable quota of attendence in the Upper House and contribute to debates of the day or otherwise forfeit their Revising Chamber peerage .Do all current 821 Peers actually attend sessions?

      L/D women are clearly prominent and this is to the good and rate as the most hard working and deserving in this batch in my opinion and we know that all 94 L/ D`s Peers , mostly come from Local Government and public service.

    • “A new rule should be brought in to ensure that all Peers when elected, actually agree to record a reasonable quota of attendence in the Upper House and contribute to debates of the day or otherwise forfeit their Revising Chamber peerage .Do all current 821 Peers actually attend sessions?”

      The problem is that someone might given and keep that commitment for a few years but there is no way of retiring. A number of these working peers will have been appointed to “replace” working peers who are no longer quite as active. Given that some might have been appointed in 1997 it’s not unreasonable that some might have said they will take a back seat – only Andrew Philips I’m aware of has had sufficient honour to ask to be retired though

    • tonygreaves 19th Nov '10 - 5:33pm

      I don’t want to comment about any individuals on the list (not least because they are future colleagues!) and there are some brilliant additions to our team here.

      But the geographical balance is deplorably bad. Most of this list seem to be from the South-east of England, widely defined*. Just one North, one Cornwall, one Scot, one Welsh. One or two others might have “provincial connections” but that is hardly the point (and I may have misjudged one or two).

      But it is pretty poor in my opinion.

      Tony Greaves

      *London or daily commuting distance.

    • tonygreaves 19th Nov '10 - 5:34pm

      And – oh yes – the gender balance is just unacceptable in an appointed list in which the decision rests with the party not the electorate.

      Tony Greaves

    • Tony Dawson 19th Nov '10 - 6:07pm

      An intriguing mixture of the able and deserving with two types of timeservers: the useful and the not-so-useful. But poor gender balance, poor use of Party’s elected peers mechanism, poor geographic spread: having said that, given the type of people who are dominating the nominations for that elected peers list these days, heaven help us.

    • Dinti Batstone 19th Nov '10 - 6:09pm

      I agree about gender balance, Tony – particularly as bishops/ elected heredetaries act as de facto reserved seats for men, so there is already an in-built male majority in the Lords.

      The absence of safe Lib Dem seats has made it very difficult for us to deliver diversity in the Commons. That is precisely why, for so long as the appointments system continues, we should be hard-wiring diversity into the Lords. ‘Grandfathering’ arrangements and the advantages of incumbency mean that when we finally do get an elected second chamber anyone who is there now will have a head start in the selection/ election… that is why it is so important to ensure we get good women in there now.

    • Mohammed Shafiq,
      You ask a question, but preface it with a derogatory tone.
      Monroe Palmer is an incredibly hard working and effective local councillor, former group leader, he has had many roles at a regional and a national level, he has been a target seat PPC and just missed out winning in 1997, he has served the party at considerable personal effort, expense to considerable effect. I can think of few grassroots activists more deserving. In addition his work in the jewish community working for peaceful solutions, tackling racism and anti-semitism have been outstanding. All this over 3 decades and more…
      It really is great news all round and I for one am delighted.

    • @ Alex

      “Too many people on the trains up to London. Losing a few MP (sic) raises the tone.”

      But, surely, the trains will now be full of unelected peers!


      Clegg — Plausible? Coherent? Oxymorons I think.

    • Liberal Neil 19th Nov '10 - 6:45pm

      @ Mark Valladares

      How does 6 out of 15 improve our gender balance?

      The gap between the number of men and women has been widened further.

      I agree with Dinti on this, when appointing peers it is wholly within our power to improve the party’s diversity, yet I think I am right in saying that EVERY set of appointments has had more men than women and has therefore made the gap wider.

    • Meral Hussein Ece 19th Nov '10 - 7:39pm

      I would like to add my congratulations to all the new Lib Dem Peers. Particulalry pleased for Qurban Hussain and Raj Loomba. I look forward to working with you all.

    • Liberal Neil 19th Nov '10 - 10:54pm

      @ Mark Valladares

      I suppose that’s one way of looking at the figures, but the point is that Nick could have appointed uo to 15 women and shifted the percentage significantly higher. Every batch of peers that has more men than women widens the gap.

      You are right that we need to address the issue of electing more woemn MPs, but the appointment of peers is within our control, and does not have to wait until 2015, and is not reliant on the electorate in our key seats. I certainly wouldn’t want to see potential target seat candidates put in the Lords, but there are plenty of other experienced, able women who are not.

    • the number of peers will ensure that everything that is proposed will happen as no one can oppose things. I am just watching children in need. How will it be another year into coalition?

    • Christine Headley 20th Nov '10 - 12:09am

      What is the point of the Interim Peers List? I know that the 2010 List is too recent to have been useful this time round, but I would have thought that the top 15 (say) of the 2008 version should have gone to the Lords’ panel for assessment. That some have been on the Interim Peers List is meaningless. They are well known in the party – they got on the Interim Peers List. They are well known in the party – they got on the Working Peers List. There is not necessarily any connection between the Interim Peers List. and the Working Peers List, and the Interim Peers List looks like a sop to conference representatives (who have a lot of elections to vote at in ‘even’ years) rather than a real contribution to party democracy.

    • TheContinentalOp 20th Nov '10 - 12:26am

      @ Meral Hussein Ece

      Why are you so silent on the watering down if the Equalities Act?

    • Anthony Aloysius St 20th Nov '10 - 12:30am

      Here’s the Independent’s comment on this shameful spectacle (though it seems to be of very little concern to commenters here):
      So much for the “new politics”. It appears little has been learnt by our political parties since the 2007 cash-for-honours affair. Two of the new peers, Sir Gulam and Mr Edmiston, were even questioned by the police in that tawdry business three years ago. And the Tories appear to have forgotten their recent torments over the tax affairs of their former paymaster, Lord Ashcroft. The Liberal Democrats have failed to learn lessons too. Mr Strasburger helped to fund the legal defence of the Liberal Democrats’ disgraced donor, the convicted fraudster Michael Brown.
      All three parties will doubtless argue that these new wealthy peers merit their place in the upper house because of their public works, and that their donations have nothing to do with their elevation. But it looks appalling. While big donors are selected by parties for peerages, there will always be suspicions that seats in our legislature are for sale.

    • vince thurnell 20th Nov '10 - 1:40am

      Bring on the era of a new type of politics. Now could someone enlighten me as to what the difference is between this new type of politics and the old ?.

    • Martin Land 20th Nov '10 - 8:34am

      Is this it? The best 15 people we could come up with?

    • Lester – does Monroe not count as BAME?

    • I think we got 15 too many peers out of this arrangement, but if these people were options in an open-list PR election for the Senate, we’d be spoilt for choice.

      PR for the second chamber is a bigger deal than AV for the commons for me. Odd as it may sound, the house of Lords in 5 years will be more democratic than the house of commons, I just hope all of our new peers would be willing to stand for election under STV or PR to get their job back!

      Unsurprisingly the names I don’t recognise on the list are big donors. If we want to reward donors for their support, give them a commemorative plate and a bunch of flowers, not lifelong voting rights without being elected.

      Stuffing the lords with more members while taking members out of the commons doesn’t make much sense. I hope the senate uses much larger, multi-member constituencies and is considerably smaller in population than the commons.

    • The new list of peers is out…..22130.html

      There doesn’t seem to be much connection to the interim peers list…..0peers.htm

      In particular there doesn’t seem to be a Lord Pack even though Mark was second. Is there some reason for this – ie has Mark changed his mind ?

      I would be keen to find out why Mark has been overlooked.

      Ed Joyce

    • The interim peers list is below, but there does not seem to be much of a link between it and the published list. It is only a guide for the leadership as I understand it. The ommission of Mark Pack who came second seems to be at odds with the democratic process. Can someone explain why this occurred – ie did Mark change his mind or is there more information to follow.

      Jon BALL 35
      Sue BARING 60
      Kay BARNARD 90
      Bob BARTON 6
      Graham BISHOP 25
      Bob BLEZZARD 12
      Chris BONES 34
      David BOYLE 96
      Sal BRINTON 228
      Nasser BUTT 29
      Alan BUTT-PHILI 46
      David BUXTON 36
      Richard CHURCH 55
      Val COX 37
      Peter CRYSTAL 18
      Elizabeth DALY 31
      David GODDARD 21
      David HARE 4
      Dirk HAZELL 16
      Antony HOOK 39
      Andrew HUDSON 6
      Gerry JEROME 18
      Paul KENNEDY 8
      Richard KNOWLES 22
      Sandra LAWMAN 8
      Catherine Le G 10
      Liz LEFFMAN 35
      Christopher 17
      David NAGHI 5
      Mark PACK 189
      Peter PHILLIPS 10
      Farooq QURESHI 13
      Flick REA 66
      Serena TIERNEY 13
      Mike TUFFREY 55
      John VINCENT 22
      James WALSH 39
      Ian WALTON 43
      Chris WIGGAN 50

    • Mark V
      So Sal wasn’t on the list (though I wouldn’t have a problem with submission for approval prior to the list being elected)

      However this:
      “In particular there doesn’t seem to be a Lord Pack even though Mark was second.”
      isn’t valid.

      Mark wasn’t “second” as no attempt is made to order the list. Neither the order you are elected under STV, nor the number of first preferences you get, is indicative of anything. When ordered lists are needed (eg for the Euro selections) then repeated counts are done for 10 places, then 9, then 8 etc etc.

    • Does Mark Valladares think that John Sharkey was on the list BEFORE the election result? Why?

    • Just to remind people, and especially Ed Joyce, that the recent elections are not the entire list. These have been “top up” elections (held every so often, from my understanding). Others remain on the list from previous elections. I am sure Mark V will confirm this (or otherwise!)

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