Eleven new Liberal Democrat peers announced

Eleven new Liberal Democrat peers have been announced in the Dissolution Honours. Congratulations to them.

I will admit to being slightly annoyed at the fact that there are a majority of men – 6 men and 5 women. Surprisingly, there is no peerage for Fiona Hall, the former group leader of our MEPs, nor for Annette Brooke former MP for Mid Dorset and Poole North. We may find out that they had been offered a peerage and turned it down.

Most of the list is as we expected with peerages for the longest serving MPs Sir Alan Beith, Sir Malcolm Bruce and Sir Menzies Campbell. It had already been widely reported that Danny Alexander and Vince Cable had turned down peerages but they have had knighthoods instead.

Other than that there are a couple of very welcome surprises in the inclusion of Shas Sheehan and Dorothy Thornhill, both of whom are part of Tim Farron’s team of spokespeople.

Here is the Lib Dem list in full:

SIR ALAN BEITH

Alan Beith held the parliamentary seat of Berwick-upon-Tweed for 42 years, winning the by-election there in November 1973.  He stood down at the General Election in May this year.

Alan is a former Chief Whip of the Liberal Party, a former Home Affairs Spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats, and a former Deputy Leader of both the Liberal Party and the Liberal Democrats. In the House of Commons, he served for 18 years as a member of the House of Commons Commission, and also served on the Treasury Select Committee.  He chaired the Justice Select Committee between 2010 and 2015.

SHARON BOWLES

Sharon Bowles was a member of the European Parliament for the South East Region from 2005 until 2014.

Before becoming an MEP, Sharon worked as a European patent attorney, the only one ever to sit in the European Parliament.

In 2005 she replaced Chris Huhne in the European Parliament when he was elected to the Commons.  She sat on the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, and became a substitute member of the Committee on Legal Affairs.

She also served as a member of the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with the countries of South East Asia.  Re-elected to the European Parliament in 2009, she was elected chair of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, and then re-elected to this role in 2012, serving until the end of the parliamentary term in 2014.

In August 2014 she became a non-executive director of the London Stock Exchange Group PLC.

SIR MALCOLM BRUCE

Malcolm Bruce held the parliamentary seat of Gordon from 1983, until he stood down at the General Election in May this year.

At various times, he has served as Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Energy, Trade, the Environment and the Treasury.

He was leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats between 1988 and 1992 and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats between 2014 and 2015.  He served as chairman of the Commons International Development Select Committee between 2005 and 2015.

LORELY BURT

Lorely Burt held the parliamentary seat of Solihull from 2005 until the General Election in May this year.

Following her election, Lorely served at various times as a Liberal Democrat spokesperson on Northern Ireland, Small Business, Women and Equality, and Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. In October 2007 she was elected as the party’s first female Chair of the Liberal Democrats’ Parliamentary Party. She also served on the Treasury Select Committee.

In 2013 Lorely was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Danny Alexander in the Treasury. In 2014 she was appointed the government’s Ambassador for Women in Enterprise and later as an Assistant Government Whip.

SIR MENZIES CAMPBELL

Menzies Campbell held the parliamentary seat of North-East Fife from 1987 until he stood down at the General Election in May this year.

He was called to the Bar in Scotland in 1968 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1984.  Ming served as Foreign Affairs Spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats between 1992 and 2006, was Deputy Leader of the party between 2003 and 2006, and then Leader of the Liberal Democrats between 2006 and 2007.

He has been a member of several Commons Select Committee, including the Defence and Foreign Affairs Select Committee, as well as a member of Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee.

Menzies held the British record for the 100 metre sprint between 1967 and 1974, and captained the Great Britain athletic team in 1965 and 1966.  He is currently Chancellor of the University of St. Andrews.

LYNNE FEATHERSTONE

Lynne Featherstone held the parliamentary seat of Hornsey and Wood Green from 2005 until the General Election in May this year.

Lynne has variously served as the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for London and International Development, and as member of the home affairs team.

In May 2010 Lynne was appointed a minister in the Home Office with responsibility for equalities. There she was the architect and originator of Equal Marriage. In 2012 she moved to the Department for International Development, where she spearheaded the campaign to end FGM within a generation. Lynne returned to the Home Office in 2014 as Minister of State for Crime Prevention, championing support for victims of domestic violence.

DON FOSTER

Don Foster held the parliamentary seat of Bath from 1992 until he stood down at the General Election in May this year.

Following his election, at various times Don served as Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Education, Environment, Work and Pensions, Transport, and Culture, Media and Sport. In 2012 he became a minister for Communities and Local Government and in 2013 he was appointed as Government Deputy Chief Whip in the Commons, a position he held until the election.

JONNY OATES

Jonny Oates is a former Liberal Democrat councillor and Deputy Leader in Kingston-upon-Thames. He was Ed Davey’s election agent in 1997 when he took the seat of Kingston and Surbiton from the Conservatives.

Jonny has worked in a number of political, communications and public affairs roles for Westminster Strategy, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, Bolland & Associates and Bell Pottinger Public Affairs. He also served as Policy and Communications Co-ordinator at the Youth Justice Board.

He served as Director of Policy and Communications for the Liberal Democrats and in 2009 was appointed Director of General Election Communications for the 2010 General Election. From 2010 Jonny served as Chief of Staff to Nick Clegg.

SHAS SHEEHAN

Shas Sheehan was the Liberal Democrat candidate in the parliamentary seat of Wimbledon in 2010 and in the General Election in May this year. She was previously a councillor for Kew, serving as Assistant Cabinet Member for Climate Change, a member of the Planning Committee, Children’s Services Committee and Health Committee.

Shas has also worked as a chemistry teacher, an auxiliary nurse at New Cross Hospital and as a senior planner/buyer in advertising.  She took a volunteer role with the Liberal Democrats which then led to a political career as Head of Office to Susan Kramer when she was MP for Richmond Park.

SIR ANDREW STUNELL

Andrew Stunell held the parliamentary seat of Hazel Grove from 1997, until he stood down at the General Election in May this year.

He served as Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Energy between 1997 and 2005 and served as Chief Whip in the Commons between 2001 and 2006.  He then served as the party’s local government spokesperson until 2007, when he became chair of the party’s local elections team.  He has served on the International Development Select Committee.

In the aftermath of the 2010 General Election Andrew was a member of the Liberal Democrat team that negotiated the Coalition Agreement.  He was appointed a minister in the Department for Communities and Local Government when the Coalition was formed, where he was responsible for community cohesion and race equality.  He served in that role until 2012.

Before he got involved in politics, Andrew was an architectural assistant.

DOROTHY THORNHILL

Dorothy Thornhill has served as Mayor of Watford since May 2002.  She was the first ever elected mayor for the town, as well as being the Liberal Democrats’ first directly elected mayor, and also the first female directly elected mayor in the UK.

She was re-elected as mayor in May 2006, gaining more than 50% of the vote in the first round, and was then re-elected for a third time in May 2010, becoming only the second directly elected mayor in the UK to achieve this feat.

Dorothy has had a teaching career spanning over 25 years, and was an assistant head teacher in Hertfordshire for several years.

Tim Farron said:

Liberal Democrats are committed to root and branch reform of the House of Lords. Today’s appointments introduce a new wave of Lib Dems determined to fight for change.

I have campaigned alongside all of our new Peers and am heartened that we can appoint people who have been such excellent public servants.

Between them they have 200 years of representing communities locally and nationally, and will undoubtedly continue to serve with passion and integrity.

In a joint agreement the new Liberal Democrats Peers said:

It is a great honour to be appointed to the House of Lords and we intend to play a full and active part in its work. We remain committed to reform and for a democratic system to replace patronage.

This means that Paul Walter did pretty well. Last week he correctly guessed 8 of the 11.

 

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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55 Comments

  • Especially pleased that Mayor Dorothy is now going to be Baroness Dorothy, and that the architect of everything from Equal Marriage to the incorrectly ascribed Boris Bikes*, the amazing Lynne Featherstone, is still going to be in our legislature kicking arse and making laws.

    (I have been leading a small rebellion and calling them Lynne Cycles – do feel free to join in ;))

  • Phil Rimmer 27th Aug '15 - 2:10pm

    Jonny Oats? Please, tell me someone made a mistake typing out the list.

    In the current climate and given our shocking track record on this issue, more men than women is unforgiveable. Especially when Clegg throws a peerage away.

  • @Joe Otten “Congratulations to all 11. Well earned and I’m sure you will all be effective Lords.”

    On first reading I thought this was about selecting an England Cricket XI

  • Liberal Neil 27th Aug '15 - 2:33pm

    I don’t personally have a problem with Jonny getting a peerage, he at least brings the average age down a bit.

    I’m delighted that Dorothy, Lynne and Sharon are being given peerages, three fantastic female politicians that it has been my privilege to work with over the years.

    However I think it is shameful that Nick has once again failed to use a set of appointments to improve gender balance, something he has consistently failed to do despite his warm words on its importance.

  • Trebles all round in Sheffield, it seems. Congratulations to those involved if these things matter to them – for the rest of us, how do we manage to assist their drive for reform of the Lords? It really is an affront in its current form!

  • Wow, dramatic radicalism by Cleggie who. with one bold leap, has got rid of four knighthoods.

    Maybe shouldn’t have posted that !! There goes my gong.

  • Enlight_Bystand 27th Aug '15 - 2:50pm

    David – but he’s created three more…

  • Erm….. Should you all be so happy about this ? I thought you were against an unelected HofL? Don’t misunderstand me, I’m pleased there are going to be more Lib Dems in there to stop the Tories having an easy ride but shouldn’t you all be accepting this more in sorrow and less jubilantly??

    And I really hope you’re not all going to start doffing your caps and calling people ‘Lord this’ or ‘Lady that’? We’re all equal, remember. It’s all there in your Preamble.

    Irreverence is what we accept from you folks!

  • I have n idea how these things work, nor do I wish to find out but I am guessing from previous comments that a ‘ Lord’ is higher up the pecking order than a ‘Sir’.

    Dear God.

  • Wow! Speedy moderating there !! No idea who the Mod is on a Thursday but good work!!

  • Especially please to see Lynne Featherstone in the list, although I would have preferred to have seen her back in the Commons with 5 years fixed parliaments I don’t see many former MP’s fighting to regain seats in the future..

    @Jennie
    Lynne Cycles it will be from now on!

  • Phil Rimmer 27th Aug '15 - 3:48pm

    @ Liberal Neil – Clegg says one thing and then does precisely the opposite, again and again and again ……. gosh, I am surprised!

  • Jonny Oates and Shas Sheehan? Not sure they are “big” enough to warrant a peerage.

  • Phil Rimmer 27th Aug '15 - 4:05pm

    @ Steve Way – I am not at all sure that 5 year fixed Parliaments are a legitimate excuse for not trying to win a seat back. Two Liberal MPs, now sadly gone but for whom I retain the greatest respect, who managed the feat over a similar time scale are Richard Wainwright, defeated 1970 regained 1974, and Richard Livsey, defeated 1992 regained 1997.

    One thing the two Richards had in common was that they each spent over a decade working towards winning a seat. I wish that I could say that about a larger proportion of our former MPs.

  • Phil Rimmer 27th Aug '15 - 4:07pm

    @ Simon Shaw: apologise for precisely what sir?

  • Congratulations to the undemocratic unelected Lib Dems appointed to the old boy network House of Lords club, don’t worry about enjoying yourselves in the subsidised restaurants and bars you won’t have to spend a penny of your own money because the taxpayer mugs are going to give loads of money see below. If any new members are not sure how to claim their daily maximum amount don’t worry there are already experienced Lib Dem Lords who will show you the ropes and how fill the claim forms it’s easy. The undemocratic unelected Lords do not represent the people of Scotland so they should be mindful to keep their noses out of Scotlands business.

    Most members of the Lords do not receive a salary for their parliamentary duties but are eligible to receive allowances and, within certain limits, the travel expenses they incur in fulfilling their parliamentary duties.

    Members who are not paid a salary may claim a flat rate attendance allowance of £150 or £300 for each sitting day they attend the House. This daily allowance replaces the separate overnight subsistence, day subsistence and office costs in the previous system. Entitlement is determined by attendance, not residence criteria.

    Some members of the Lords receive a salary because of the offices they hold.

    The Lord Speaker, the Chairman of Committees, and the Principal Deputy Chairman – paid from the House of Lords budget.
    Government ministers – paid by the relevant government departments.
    Members who receive a ministerial or office holders’ salary are not entitled to claim the allowances based on attendance.

  • ‘If you can’t beat them, join them’. If it’s our firm policy to get rid of the House of Lords why are we adding to its number. It is already an unwieldy place. If it is to assist with good works then surely Vince Cable should be in there. He should have been persuaded!

  • I think Clegg has missed a trick here. If Joe Otten had been chosen to go to the Lords he would bring a much needed spark to the place and the National platform would help spearhead the fight back in the North. Joe is not afraid to explain to voters how utterly wrong they were about the Coalition and the party needs his passion and energy.

  • Liberal Neil 27th Aug '15 - 6:20pm

    @Simon Shaw – after eight years of Nick’s leadership and appointments to the Lords we still have twice as many men as women. If Nick believed what he claimed to believe about gender equality in politics we could have had a 50/50 split by now. Today’s list increase the gap between men and women further.

  • david thorpe 27th Aug '15 - 6:55pm

    any evidence that todays list ‘increases the gap between male and female peers or parlaimentarians further? I would also point out that Ming Campbell as a former leader nof the party is appointed a peer on the prime ministers list-all former tory, labour and liberal leaders are-kennedy would also have been. so he was not appoiunted or nomnintaed by clegg-makingt the list a 50-50 split anmd therefgore gneder balanced?

  • @ Silvio : “Joe is not afraid to explain to voters how utterly wrong they were about the Coalition and the party needs his passion and energy”. Silly old voters rejecting Nick and Joe’s version of Coalition virtues.

    A batsman moaned at Freddy Trueman after an LBW decision : “That were never out”. Fred replied, “Look in’t paper in the morning and see if it were out”. Look in’t paper, Silvio.

  • I see danger lurking round the corner. It has been widely stated that during the last Parliament unelected peers had too much influence over how the party was led. Imagine the situation with 49 less MPs. Where we had 57 MPs, we now have 8. But the number of peers has actually grown today by 11 to 150. That noble cohort includes within its number three former leaders and numerous big names. So, who is now going to have the greater influence over how the party is run? The elected MPs or the unelected peers? What is Tim Farron’s status going to be? I fear that the centre of gravity in our party has moved from the green to the red benches. We will be back to the same old ways no matter what Tim Farron or anyone else does. I really, sincerely hope I’m wrong.

  • Phil Rimmer 27th Aug '15 - 9:34pm

    @ Simon Shaw: no matter how you or I choose to interpret the current gender gap in Perliament, it still exists and we are more at fault than our political opponents. Claims regarding Ming Campbell being automatic are misleading because Clegg already knew this and could have done the decent thing by dropping a male, the obvious under qualified one say, and adding another female. He either didn’t think of it or decided not to. I repeat, the position of our party and our former leader on this issue is shameful.

    Of course, one could be more understanding if there was any transparency or democracy inClegg’s decision. Fact is, it’s about as transparent as pea soup and as democratic as Charles I. Clegg, to the very end, talked democracy but walked patronage.

  • John Tilley 27th Aug '15 - 9:42pm

    Sesenco
    Do not worry. Despite the propaganda about how wonderful our folks in The Lords are and how hard they work they are to say the least a “mixed bunch”. The idea that the party would be dominated by them is, I think, a little fanciful.

    They might prove me wrong of course.

    It would be interesting to see an objective analysis of how often our Peers actually turn up and then what they actually do once they have turned up. It is four years since I had to sit in The Lords (not as a Lord but as someone doing a proper job) and I hope it will not shock too many people if I point out that on many occasions when I sat there 90% of the Liberal Democrat faces were missing. I know we are not supposed to say such things in LDV and we have to pretend that all our folk are workaholic achievers but it ain’t necessarily so. The words that you’re liable to read in The Bible ….

  • 1. @ Simon Shaw asks “So what have you done to explain to voters the virtues of the 2010-2015 coalition?”

    Well, putting arthritis aside, went round my old Berwickshire patch trying to whip up support for a very good man who deserved much better from his leader and the electorate.

    ‘Virtues of the Coalition ? ‘….. must have a think about that ………. erm….Sorry Simon, old pal, but nothing in particular comes to mind ………….. though the electorate had a view on it. Historically, with the benefit of experience, I reckon old Asquith, Lloyd George and Herbert Samuel probably came to the same conclusion. Don’t be surprised if you get eaten when you ride on the back of a hungry tiger.

    Simon also says, “What has Scotland got to do with anything?”…………. Well, if you ever come to Sauchiehall Street on a Saturday night it might be politic to keep that thought to yourself.

  • Stephen Donnelly 27th Aug '15 - 10:43pm

    Difficult to object to any of these people individually. But why should they be members of the House of Lords above the many other citizens who have led good, but non-party political lives. The only liberal response is to despise the process, even when some of our ‘favourites’ are chosen by it. We undermine our own case for reform by making any other point.

  • Jane Ann Liston 28th Aug '15 - 12:39am

    Eleven lords-a leaping? That’s one more than the norm.

  • Mark Valladares Mark Valladares 28th Aug '15 - 8:09am

    @ Phil Rimmer,

    Curiously, it could be argued that both you and Simon are correct. Simon is right to say that the gender gap has been closed in percentage terms – Nick appointed a higher proportion of women than Paddy, Charles or Ming. However, setting aside Ming’s elevation, Nick has nominated twenty-eight men and twenty-two women. Indeed, if memory serves, each of Nick’s lists has improved the proportion of women amongst the Parliamentary Party in the Lords.

    Could/should he have done more? I leave that to you and others to argue – although age and infirmity are likely to impact positively on the gender balance position given the age profile of existing Peers.

  • Charles Rothwell 28th Aug '15 - 8:38am

    The whole place is becoming something of a national joke (and the media were killing themselves with laughter throughout yesterday with their comparisons with the People’s National Assembly of Communist China etc.) I can see the argument for the Party taking part in a rotten system so as to utilise it in order to prevent worse things (e.g. Tory majority) occurring instead. What is becoming ever more apparent, however, is that constitutional reform is now vitally needed if “the name on the tin” (United Kingdom) is to have any meaning at all. Far from being “boring old stuff” (as the Liberals were very frequently accused of touting in the past), this issue is now something which is a major priority issue and the Party needs to stake this out as “its” area. We are know there is not the faintest chance of real, coherent and consistent reform under Conservatives or Labour (at least under Cooper, Burnham or Kendall) and we are (still) the only serious party which can propose real change and gain a hearing. A full package is needed, from defining the UK’s relationship with an EU which is undergoing radical change, through federalisation to devolution to local/regional bodies and an elected (on a different basis to the Commons) Second Chamber reflecting these changes (e.g. representing the Regions (and with the power to appoint ex officio independent experts) instead of parties) should form a part of these proposals. If this does not happen and the Lords just keep on growing and growing, the whole system will become increasingly incredible and only reinforce the alienation of huge swathes of the electorate.

  • John Tilley 28th Aug '15 - 9:14am

    Charles Rothwell

    The comparison with the People’s National Assembly of Communist China is most unfair.

    There are no hereditary places, no bishops, not even a helper from Hallam in The People’s National Assembly of Communist China.

    I expect a hefty donation to party funds can assist in becoming a member of The People’s National Assembly of Communist China. They never claimed it was anything to do with democracy, did they?

  • Angela Davies 28th Aug '15 - 9:42am

    Many Congratulations to Jonny Oates on his peerage. “Mboy whoever you are you should know that Jonny Oates is a very simple shy and unassuming ma whom I have known for many years. He has served this party as a Councillor and a private person. He has been an invaluable help to our MPs and Leader during the coalition years and has always managed to attend fund raisers in his local ward and to deliver focus..
    “Big enough”! No he is not a loud “I am” but a tower of strength to those around him. That makes him worth his weight in gold and few are more deserving of this honour

  • Richard Underhill 28th Aug '15 - 10:37am

    SHARON BOWLES was on the BBC News Channel today 28/8/2015 on the “Victoria Derbyshire” show. The named presenter is presumably on holiday and has an extremely competent substitute who deserves accreditation.
    Labour’s Dawn Primarolo was also interviewed, making an all female show.

  • Richard Underhill

    Victoria Derbyshire has been on leave of absence for several weeks as she is undergoing treatment for cancer.

  • Richard Underhill 28th Aug '15 - 10:55am

    No Tory on the programme. Was nobody available?

  • Sarah Whitebread 28th Aug '15 - 12:19pm

    I am completely appalled by this and embarrassed for our party.

    Not only should we not be accepting such a large number of peerages after the kicking the electorate have just given us, but we certainly should not be giving so many peerages to ageing white male former MPs.

    This should not be what we’re about.

    At a time when we’re desperately trying to give the electorate reasons to vote for us this was an opportunity to show we’re different – either by taking a principled stand an not accepting so many, or alternatively using the chance to appoint a younger more diverse mix of people to the chamber. Instead we do what everyone who is fed up of politics would expect a westminster bubble establishment party to do – go for jobs for the boys for a load of retired, largely white male MPs. Great.

  • Jamie Matthews 28th Aug '15 - 12:33pm

    What kind of party are we nowadays accepting these peerages? We’ve promoted FOUR old white male knights to peers. Alan Beith abstained on equal marriage and doesn’t represent modern social liberalism. I have to say it’s one let down after another from the party lately. Where has our radical reforming side gone? We’ve joined in with the Tories’ appointments of cronies and the privileged.

  • Steve Way: xxx

  • Liberal Neil 28th Aug '15 - 2:29pm

    @Simon Shaw – appointing 6 men and 5 women increases the gap between men and women by 1.

  • Richard Underhill 28th Aug '15 - 3:36pm

    John Tilley 28th Aug ’15 – 9:14am
    Gorbachev asked the equivalent body in the USSR to vote for electoral reform. They did as they were told, thinking they would have ten years. He then produced from his pocket a timetable for elections. (Woops).
    The newly elected were more diverse, genuinely local and less stuck-in-mud of previous orthodoxy, but it can take more than one election to achieve good governance. The Chinese watched and charted a different course.

  • Denis Loretto 28th Aug '15 - 4:03pm

    Those (rightly) ridiculing the entire concept of the Hose of Lords as at present constituted must bear in mind that all 3 major parties promised to work for reform in their 2010 manifestos and Nick Clegg did his darndest to come up with a formula to deliver this from within the coalition. The Conservatives then cynically wrecked this and Labour did nothing to stop them.

    No true Liberal can read this stuff about the latest appointments without a degree of distaste but while this crazy edifice continues to exist it makes sense to keep as big a proportion of our lot in there as possible, rather than leave it to the representatives of the other parties – particularly with the Conservatives having such a small majority in the Commons.

  • David Evans 28th Aug '15 - 5:13pm

    Sesenco, As you say ‘ I fear that the centre of gravity in our party has moved from the green to the red benches.’ However, as we both know the centre of gravity in our party should lie through the membership with conference, and iirc each of the Lords and MPs has one vote in that. The only thing that is needed is for the membership to learn to become perhaps a bit more assertive and influential and for all the organs of the party to encourage and support that.

  • I think we shouldn’t forget those Lib Dem MPs who turned down peerages on principle – the list is just as distinguished.

  • David Blake 28th Aug '15 - 6:44pm

    I feel a bit uneasy about giving peerages to people who have so recently been ejected from the Commons. Fine if they stood down, but not if they were defeated.

  • @David Blake
    Agree 100%. It’s an insult to the voters who cast their verdict on these people just a few weeks ago. Vince is rejected by his electorate and flogs our mail service off at half price to “city spivs” (to use his own phrase) and for this he gets a knighthood?

    It’s high time we had a completely separate honours system for those unconnected with politics, because the way this is done currently demeans the status of these honours for those who actually deserve them.

  • It’s pretty obvious that most folk on here are pretty brassed off with Clegg’s Lavender List (see Harold Wilson 1976) which has a dash of Lloyd George 1922 in it.

    A lot of us will be at Conference and I hope will express our views directly and with force. Never again !

    Apart from the intrinsic awfulness of it one of the worst consequences will be the way it has landed poor old Tim with a legacy which makes it even harder to rebrand us to the general public as different and radical. Thanks a bundle Nick….. Great legacy !

  • Simon Hebditch 30th Aug '15 - 3:09pm

    What a farce! Of course, House of Lords reform is necessary but how are we going to achieve it? It will only possibly happen if it is part of a programme of change to emerge from a constitutional convention which should consider refashioning the UK as a proper federation of four separate “nations”. In that context, the House of Lords should be abolished and replaced by a directly elected second house, a Senate. In the meantime, the Lib Dems should not make any new additions to this archaic anachronism.

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