The list announced this morning of the latest peerages throws up some interesting names.
The Conservative Party peerages include Andrew Feldman, Co-Chairman of the Conservative Party and David Cameron’s chief fundraiser and Stanley Fink, the Tory treasurer who has donated millions to the party.
Robert Edmiston, the multi-millionaire car salesman, and Sir Michael Bishop, the former boss of the BMI airline, were also rewarded by being made Conservative peers. Both have donated large sums to the party in the past.
Edmiston’s peerage will raise eyebrows given that he secretly lent the Tories £2 million before the 2005 general election. He converted the loan into a donation.
Former anti-sleaze MP Martin Bell said: ‘This can only add to the public’s perception that high honours can be bought. We are back to the situation we were in with cash for honours.”
The “cash for honours” scandal refers to secret loans made to the Labour Party before the 2005 general election by some individuals who were then nominated for peerages.
Labour donor Sir Gulam Noon, one of the working peers also announced today, was questioned under caution as part of the 2007 inquiry into whether loans were made in return for the promise a peerage.
Other Labour appointees in the list today include Oona King, defeated by Ken Livingstone to be Labour candidate for the London Mayor, and former General Secretary of the Labour Party, Ray Collins.
The former Oxford don and adviser to both Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband, Stewart Wood, will be made a Labour working peer.
As George Eaton points out, Wood will now attend shadow cabinet meetings and will act as shadow minister without portfolio, shadowing Baroness Warsi, in a significantly enhanced role.
Today’s list of 53 new peerages will bring the total number in the upper house to 791, which as the BBC’s Michael Crick points out, compares with just 666 members after most of the hereditary peerages were abolished eleven years ago.
The full list of Working Peers is as follows:
-Tariq Ahmad – businessman and former Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party
-Sir Robert Balchin DL – Pro-Chancellor of Brunel University
-Elizabeth Berridge – Director of the Conservative Christian Fellowship
-Sir Michael Bishop CBE – career in civil aviation, Chairman of The Michael Bishop Foundation a charitable foundation
-Alistair Cooke OBE – career in education, authorship and politics
-Sir Patrick Cormack – former Conservative MP
-Michael Dobbs – author, presenter and adviser to Margaret Thatcher and John Major
-Robert Edmiston – businessman and charity campaigner
-Sir Reg Empey OBE – Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party 2005 – 2010
-Andrew Feldman – businessman and Co-Chairman of the Conservative Party
-Julian Fellowes DL – actor, novelist, film director and screenwriter
-Stanley Fink – Chief Executive of International Standard Asset Management and Chairman of Earth Capital LLP. Treasurer of the Conservative Party
-Howard Flight – career in finance; held various positions in Conservative Shadow Cabinet, Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party 2004 -2005
-David Gold – senior litigation partner at Herbert Smith LLP
-Michael Grade CBE – past Chief Executive of Channel 4 Television and former Executive Chairman of ITV plc
-Rachael Heyhoe-Flint OBE DL – past captain of England women’s cricket team, currently public relations and sports marketing consultant
-Anne Jenkin – charitable and political work for the Conservative Party
-Sir Michael Lord – former Conservative MP and former Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons
-Rt Hon David Maclean – former Conservative MP; held a number of Ministerial posts; Opposition Chief Whip 2001 – 2005
-George Magan – career in finance; former Conservative Party Treasurer and Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party Foundation
-Sir Bernard Ribeiro CBE FRCS – retired Consultant General Surgeon; member of the Health Policy Research Advisory Board of the American College of Surgeons
-Fiona Shackleton LVO – lawyer specialising in family law
-Richard Spring – former Conservative MP
-Tina Stowell MBE – former Head of BBC corporate Affairs; past Deputy Chief of Staff to William Hague as Leader of HM Opposition
-Nicholas True CBE – past Deputy Head of the PM’s Policy Unit; former Private Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords; Leader of Richmond Borough Council
-Patience Wheatcroft – Editor-in-Chief of the Wall Street Journal Europe
-Gordon Wasserman – internationally recognised expert on management of police forces
Liberal Democrat Party
-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
-Dame Joan Bakewell DBE – writer and broadcaster
-Ray Collins – General Secretary of the Labour Party
-Maurice Glasman – Senior Lecturer in political theory at London Metropolitan University and for his work with London Citizens
-Jonathan Kestenbaum – businessman and Chief Executive of National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts
-Oona King – Head of Diversity at Channel 4 Television and former Labour MP; currently journalist and presenter
-Ruth Lister – Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at Loughbrough University
-Eluned Morgan – former Labour MEP representing Mid and West Wales; currently Honorary Distinguished Professor at Cardiff University and for her work on low carbon energy
-Sir Gulam Noon MBE – Chairman and Founder of Noon Products and of the Noon Foundation
-Stewart Wood – former Downing Street and HMT special adviser, lecturer at University of Oxford; previously Fellow of Magdalen College and co-founder of Nexus
-Bryony Worthington – career focusing on promoting environmental and social change
-Rt Hon Dafydd Wigley – former Leader of Plaid Cymru; Honorary President of Plaid Cymru
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