Lib Dems amongst the top ten peers’ peers

House of LordsEd Lowther at the BBC has identified the ‘top ten peers’ peers of 2013‘, defined as backbenchers in the House of Lords who were name-checked most frequently by their colleagues in the chamber. As he says: “This approach may not measure popularity or power, but it gives an impression of impact. ”

And are any of those lordly sociometric stars Lib Dem, by any chance? Of course they are.

At number 4 – drumroll, please – is ….

… Tony Greaves. Sometimes described as the Lib Dems’ ‘oldest angry young man‘ he was instrumental in the recovery of the party from its lowest points in the 1970s. A radical, no-nonsense politician, he frequently joins in the discussions in the comments on Lib Dem Voice, as well as contributing posts from time to time.

He is closely followed by Anthony Lester, who is known to many of us as an erudite and humane lawyer and advocate for human rights, racial equality and, more recently, equal marriage.

The top female peer, and 8th overall,  is the wonderful Sally Hamwee, who has served her time as a councillor in Richmond upon Thames, then as member (and chair) of the London Assembly. She is  Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee on Home Affairs, Justice and Equalities, and speaks with authority on a range of issues including housing, equalities, planning and media.

We should also mention David Alton, at number 10, who sits today as a crossbencher, but was a Liberal, and then Liberal Democrat, MP for 18 years in Liverpool.

Three (and a half) out of ten is pretty good, and demonstrates that our peers punch substantially above their weight on the red benches.

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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  • Sally Hamwee is the only woman in the BBC TopTen. And a lovely lady too – many leading politicians are much nicer than you would think from the way the media write them up, but Sally is one of the nicest.

  • As an active Young Lib during the late 60s, I only have respect for Tony Greaves’s long enduring radicalism, and his general political longevity. Many of our colleagues from that period have disappeared off the (Liberal) map!

    And Anthony Lester, who I have never met, is very much a Lib Dem hero for his tenacious work on difficult areas of human rights. So the rather arbitrary way that the BBC have picked their top ten has resulted in three graet exemplars from our Party.

  • Tony Greaves 7th Feb '14 - 3:24pm

    All nonsense really but useful for a local press release!


  • R Uduwerage-Perera 8th Feb '14 - 1:53am

    Sally Hamwee is frankly inspirational, but why on earth was not Meral Hussein-Ece also highlighted for she is equally tremendous. I am personally proud as punch to have both Sally and Meral representing our interests in the ‘Big House’, for they both ceaselessly act beyond the call of duty. If they were not already Peers, they would deserve to made such. I wish all Peers would attempt to mimic them.

  • Patrick Smith 8th Feb '14 - 9:37am

    Where is Mathew Oakeshott in this list of top performing Peers?.

    From what I can glean our L/D Peers are extremely hard-working and all tend to be productive in their roles.

    David Alton I understand is Chair of the N Korea cross party Human Rights movement for example..

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