The Returning Officer

Peer pressure

On 22 March, there will be a by-election in the Lords caused by the death of the Labour peer Lord Strabolgi. Strabolgi was the son of Joseph Kenworthy, the Liberal then Labour MP for Hull Central (1919-31). Kenworthy resigned to fight a by-election when he changed his affiliation in 1926.

The Labour candidates to succeed him are Viscount Hanworth (David Pollock), descendant of Sir Ernest Pollock, Tory MP for Warwick and Leamington (1910-23), and Lord Monkswell (Gerry Collier). The first Lord Monkswell, Robert Collier, was Liberal MP for Plymouth (1852-71) and rose to be attorney general under Gladstone.

Other candidates include the Tory Viscount Addison, successor to Christopher Addison, Liberal MP for Hoxton/Shoreditch (1910-22), Labour MP for Swindon (1929-31 and 1934-35) and the first minister of health (1919-21); the Lib Dem Lord Ogmore, son of David Rees-Williams, Labour MP for Croydon South (1945-50); and the crossbencher Lord Parmoor, a member of the Cripps dynasty.

This article first appeared in the 21 March 2011 issue of the New Statesman, The drowned world