Former Northern Rock Chief Voted Into House Of Lords

The man who led Northern Rock bank to its near collapse has been 'elected' to the House of Lords.

Viscount Ridley won a special election for hereditary peers to replace Tory Earl Ferrers.

He resigned as Northern Rock chairman in 2007 when it was forced to be bailed out by the government.

Viscount, then Matt, Ridley is grilled by MPs

Although most hereditary peers were kicked out of the Lords in 1999 reforms, 90 were allowed to remain.

Whenever one of them dies, a by-election is held to replace them where the voters and candidates are all hereditary peers.

The arrangement is likely to last for the foreseeable future after Lib Dem attempts to reform the Lords were thwarted last year.

Ridley, who acquired the title last year after the death of his father, fought off competition from 26 other hereditaries, including former Tory MP Douglas Hogg, who quit after claiming for moat repairs on his expenses.

Ridley has described the Northern Rock fiasco as "a catastrophic black mark" on his CV.

Appearing before the Treasury Select Committee in the aftermath of Northern Rock's collapse, he was accused of "damaging the good name of British banking".

Under the House of Lords Act 1999, all those on the Register of Hereditary Peers are eligible to stand in by-elections.

The by-election must take place within three months of any vacancy occurring.