Reinforcements arrive for the Parliamentary Party in the Lords…

Now that Parliament has returned after the summer recess, the process of introducing the new Peers has come. And, to allow LDV readers to keep up with the new intake, here is the list of new Peers and when they are to be introduced;

26 October – Shas Sheehan (Baroness Sheehan)
27 October – Jonny Oates (Lord Oates)
5 November – Sir Menzies Campbell (Lord Campbell of Pittenweem) and Don Foster (Lord Foster of Bath)
10 November – Lorely Burt (Baroness Burt of Solihull)
19 November – Sir Malcolm Bruce (Lord Bruce of Bennachie)
23 November – Sir Alan Beith (title yet to be confirmed)
26 November – Lynne Featherstone (title yet to be confirmed)
1 December – Sharon Bowles (title yet to be confirmed)
3 December – Dorothy Thornhill (title yet to be confirmed)
7 December – Andrew Stunell (title yet to be confirmed)

Hopefully, we’ll be covering their maiden speeches as, and when, they take place.

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This entry was posted in News and Parliament.


  • Helen Dudden 21st Oct '15 - 9:36am

    How many of them will except the very generous payments from taxes.

    With further reductions in disability payments and child tax credits.

    There should be reductions in Government spending, this is adding even more to the burden of Government spending.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 21st Oct '15 - 11:42am

    Helen, do you think people should give up their time and effort for free? What sort of people do you think would do the job? Do you really want our laws scrutinised only by the independently wealthy?

  • No, Caron, but do YOU think it a good idea that we have gone along with the idea that our unelected numbers should be bolstered (mainly by those rejected by the electorate). It is almost as if, having been the foremost party pushing democracy, we have stuck two fingers up to the electorate, and said we’ll get in as legislators anyway, whatever you think.

  • @Tim13

    Change from within needs numbers, and that means we needs as many LD peers as possible. Also, if we weren’t there tax credit cuts could well be on the way through.

    I cannot for one second support or defend the HoL’s unelected nature, but it exists and I’d rather we were in it trying to achieve Liberal aims than not. Like the existance of FPTP, we just have to accept it exists for now.

  • Helen Dudden 21st Oct '15 - 12:43pm

    Yes, the present situation of over payment is not ideal.

    Does the present situation of dependency on food banks, the situation of the NHS and the cuts in disability benefits. Housing is another, legal aid, we could go on.

    These MPs have generous pensions, also, they have chosen to spend their time in the House of Lords.

    I believe in reducing the costs to the tax payer, we are all in this together.

    Actually, quite a few people give their time for free on very useful projects.

  • Only in May, more than two thirds of voters opted for Parties that opposed Lords Reform, that makes The Lords a legitamate part of our system & it makes it our duty to use The Lords to defend Liberal values. Our level of representation in The Houses of Parliament is at 8%, in line with the vote we got. Entirely by accident, the system managed to give us a vaguely democratic outcome & our duty is to use that outcome as well as we can.

  • Helen Dudden 21st Oct '15 - 12:58pm

    There are those who believe in social justice. I know several people who work freely to improve on the problems with society.

    You dont have to accept payments for every thing you do, that is a narrow minded attitude to the world and those suffering in it.

  • Alex Macfie 21st Oct '15 - 1:26pm

    Most people cannot afford to give their time for free. That’s the reality, and it is why the Chartists demanded our representatives be paid.

  • Helen Dudden 21st Oct '15 - 1:34pm

    How much does it cost to feed yourself with subsidised meals and there is no got too. Surely enough Lords already on the payroll.

  • As these Lib Dems were sent to the unelected undemocratic House of Lords on the premise that they are there to get it abolished, if that is true then their speeches must in someway or another say this, if they all do not say this in their maiden speeches then nobody will trust the Lib Dems.

  • Eddie Sammon 21st Oct '15 - 1:52pm

    The problem is not the pay for the Lords but that there are too many of them and two too many senior people either like the Lords or feel an entitlement to use it, like Tim Farron. I could imagine the outrage if a Conservative tried to block one of Tim’s pet projects in the House of Lords, yet he seems to want to use it for all kinds of bills.

    Tim wants to use it for tax credits, right to buy and I presume other bills he doesn’t like. He’s just going to make people feel contempt by trying to use morals as an excuse to overrule democracy.

  • Helen Dudden 21st Oct '15 - 2:04pm

    I am merely highlighting the need to use the tax payer as a free for all who can access the funding.

    There are enough Lords now, just adding more politics in its use, is not helping the situation on the need for cut backs.

    If anyone wished to be part of something to help society, it should be independent and impartial. Payment, for reasonable expenses is acceptable.

    There are people struggling to feed themselves, heat homes and to live. There should not be the expectancy you are entitled.

  • Mark Valladares Mark Valladares 21st Oct '15 - 2:38pm


    Or, in other words, you want to restrict membership to those who are willing and able to give up their time for free, ruling out anyone who needs to earn a living, and anyone who doesn’t live within a reasonable commute of London…

    You want them to be flexible enough to be able to come in at any time to vote, regardless of convenience, to read complex technical papers in their own time and answer correspondence likewise.

    For nothing.


  • Helen Dudden 21st Oct '15 - 4:02pm

    I want the funding restricted. Is Don Foster poor as some who are struggling, Ming Campbell, as with others.

    They have homes in London already.

    Perhaps, their pensions were not adequate. Another point.

    I want to see a fairer society.

    I was widowed by a drunk driver at 30 years of age, I raised two children. Also went blind after a serious illness. Lost my home, my job, but carried on regardless.

    I had to learn some quick lessons on life, the reality of how people treat you and how to overcome diversity.

    Something for nothing is not the answer.

  • Alex Macfie 21st Oct '15 - 7:08pm

    Helen Dudden: If we did what you suggest, then only the independently wealthy would consider sitting in either house of Parliament, and therefore we would be less likely to get politicians with an interest in creating a “fairer society” because most of them would just be from the idle rich with no idea what it’s like to work for a living, let alone live on a budget.

  • Helen Dudden 21st Oct '15 - 7:26pm

    Not if things were more organised.

  • Helen Dudden:

    If you want to see genuine reform of the House of Lords there’s a better chance through the Lib Dems than via Labour or the Conservatives.

    Appreciate the point you’re making but I suspect the actual cost may be less than you think as these ‘new’ peers replace older peers who will reduce their engagement.

  • John Barrett 21st Oct '15 - 8:12pm

    Helen makes some very fair points.

    New Peers who have been rejected by the electorate only months before do not add to the Liberal Democrats credibility with the electorate or attempts to rebuild the party.

    Others who are well past pension age and who may be receiving pensions of £30 -£40,000 a year and are now to add £300 a day to that also do not make for a party trying to rebuild its connection with the general public and the workforce out in the real world.

    Is it any wonder that our Peers greatly outnumber our MPs?

    If we carry on like this, our number of Peers will continue to grow, as the number of MPs continues to decline.

  • I see that Don Foster isn’t in this list.
    I haven’t heard anything to suggest that he’s withdrawn.
    So is that an accidental omission, or has he already been introduced?

  • Jane Ann Liston 22nd Oct '15 - 10:41am

    I’m not sure that Ming Campbell has ‘a home in London already’. I believe while an MP he lived in a bedsit in a block of flats along with other MPs, but that has come to an end.

    And of course he was not ‘rejected by the electorate’.

  • Dawud Islam 22nd Oct '15 - 1:33pm

    I personally don’t see any problems with Tim using the Lords to agitate. After all although we are opposed to the Lords we still accept that there should be an elected second chamber whose role, as I interpret it, is to act as the ‘conscience’ of the nation. So prior to abolition we should attempt to have the Lords perform the same function.

    Whatever you may have thought of the coalition it was at least a ‘legitimate’ government in that it commanded more than 50% of the votes of the electorate whereas the current incumbents don’t even have the support of 1 in 4 of us and therefore lack any legitimate mandate.

    In these circumstances, particularly in cases where policy is proposed that did not feature in that party’s manifesto, then I think it is the role of the second chamber to act as the ‘voice of the 75%’ and decide whether or not it is reasonable to impose legislation upon them. In the case of the Tax Credits proposals it is about as far removed from reasonable as it is possible to get.

  • Maurice Leeke 22nd Oct '15 - 4:42pm

    I think that if Toby Keynes were to look again at the list he would find that Don Foster is to join the Lords on bonfire night !
    Perhaps more strange is that the cost of £300 per day towards democracy should generate so much heat, rather than the tens of billions that Trident costs the country.
    Yes, the Lords should be replaced by a wholly elected chamber – but we should still expect them to be paid.

  • Helen’s argument that Lords pay should be means-tested seems plausible; certainly there’s little good reason for Alan Sugar to receive payment for attending the Lords.

    The Lords is a ridiculous farce, but it’s a ridiculous farce that has the power to abolish or reform itself, so it is our responsibility to put in as many Lib Dem Lords as possible to have as many votes for abolition (or election) as we possibly can. While they’re there waiting for an opportunity to fix the Lords, they should do as much good as possible.

    If the Conservative Party doesn’t want an unelected Lords blocking their measures, then they would have plenty of Lib Dem support in replacing it with an elected Lords. But while it exists, it should use all the powers it possesses.

  • Helen Dudden 23rd Oct '15 - 11:28am

    If money is the only driving force in your life, that in turn can be positive and negative.

    They say, the more you have the more you want.

  • No-one is suggesting that money is the only driving force. However, it is wholly unrealistic to expect people to do a full- time job scrutinising legislation out of the goodness of their hearts.

  • Helen Dudden 23rd Oct '15 - 4:25pm

    How much is it worth? With subsidised restaurants in the Commons, what do you expect to gain.

    There is an austerity plan in existence, hospitals are finding cuts difficult, and you report the problems with child tax credits.

    I don’t need to eat extravagantly, nor do I expect too, as one post commented, how much is enough?

    If you had a choice, feed a child, or keep these inflated subsidies in place. This unfairness has to stop, as with MPs expenses, there is not enough to fund extravagant life styles.

  • Mark Valladares Mark Valladares 23rd Oct '15 - 6:13pm


    You started off by suggesting that people should do the job for free. And now, you’re muddying the waters by talking about subsidised meals and the like. So, going back to your ‘opening bid’, do you expect people to come down to London from, for example, Preston, and legislate for free?

    And if so, who do you think is likely to volunteer?

  • Helen, What a storm of comments you have aroused. For my part the dafter the system gets the sooner we will get it reformed – I urge their Lordships to be as obstructive as possible. Almost all our peers were previously elected politicians who are far more in touch and representative than many of the Conservatives in the HoC. The HoL with its religious leaders and hereditary peers is an abomination – if we had to apply for membership of the EU now we probably wouldn’t qualify as we would fail the test of being a fully democratic legislature. As for pay, why we have to pay the CoE Bishops when they have paid benefices elsewhere that is beyond me.

  • ” do you think people should give up their time and effort for free?”

    But they do currently! They only get a per diem expense allowance towards the costs of attending, but it is up to them to ask for it! Members of the HoL only get paid for their time when they take up an official post.

    This is why a smaller elected second chamber will cost significantly more than the current arrangements because it will automatically have to start paying salaries, tax, pension contributions etc.

  • Little Jackie Paper 23rd Oct '15 - 8:55pm

    Parliament as a whole needs to be slashed. It is hopelessly bloated and ripe for cuts. I would suggest something in the order of 250 MPs and maybe 75 Lords. All elected, all with a strict 3 term limit and a lifetime ban on anyone from returning after a maximum of three terms in either House. Oh, and SPADs covered by term limits too.

    Caron Lindsay – ‘Do you really want our laws scrutinised only by the independently wealthy?’ How many MPs and Lords at the moment are, ‘independently wealthy?’

    Oddly, Parliament is just about the one institution in the country I can think of that would benefit from diversity quotas.

  • Little Jackie Paper 23rd Oct '15 - 8:58pm

    Mark Valladares – Cost is a red-herring here. I strongly believe in a much, much smaller Parliament doing much less, much better. If that costs more then so be it.

    Any Parliament has a cost, any representation has a cost for that matter. I can think of several levels of government where the cost worries me far more than the cost of MPs and Lords worry me.

  • Mark Valladares Mark Valladares 23rd Oct '15 - 10:03pm


    I’m just replying to Helen!

    But I have a relaxed view towards the length and number of terms, albeit that I’m cautious about limiting the right of a community to send a chosen candidate back with term limits. I’m not sure that 75 Lords is enough, given their potential duties, but we get the governance we’re willing to allow, so if there aren’t enough people to hold the administration to account, that’s as much our problem, I guess.

  • Helen Dudden 24th Oct '15 - 5:33pm

    Mark Valladares. I am sure the House of Lords could manage with less.

    If you want to eat the most extravagant of what’s available, you pay for it.

    Does there need to 75 plus, of course not! I would listen to new law for much less.

    A title does not make a difference or the ermine on a garment.

  • Mark Valladares Mark Valladares 25th Oct '15 - 8:36am


    I’m sure that it could, especially as it already does – only about half of the Peers turn up on an average day and, if you don’t turn up, you can’t claim anything. But, if you know what the House of Lords does now, or are content for it to do a lot less, seventy-five isn’t going to be enough.

    But I see that your argument has shape-changed again. Every time I try to get you to answer a question relating to the point you’ve just made, you ignore it and move onto something equally unsupported. Should I just assume that you’re just sloganising, or that you aren’t wholly sincere?

  • Helen Dudden 25th Oct '15 - 8:50am

    I have been to the Commons on several occasions, written on international law, the Hague Convention on Child Access and Abduction. Written on the failings of the Brussels 11a.

    Had comments on the Westminster Legal Policy Forum. It does not take numbers or large allowences to bring change. It takes commitment and the will to succeed. I have met some incredible individuals on trips to the House.

    My interests are hungry children, housing and family law. My dislikes are, the problems with the NHS, lack of decent housing, the need for “food banks.”

    I was once told by one of the MPs on the subject of children and the law, you have to put your heart and soul into what you are doing, and believe.

    With a new week, we start again.

    One more thing, I dislike antisemitic comments, for obvious reasons.

  • Mark Valladares Mark Valladares 25th Oct '15 - 9:09pm

    @ Helen,

    In answer to my last questions then, the answers are “yes” and “possibly”.

    I won’t trouble you further…

  • Tony Dawson 26th Oct '15 - 7:15pm

    Curate’s egg.

  • Helen Dudden 27th Oct '15 - 5:59pm

    I would never serve something that I would not eat. A curate too embarrassed to complain, no one should be too embarrassed, to have a voice in society.

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