House Of Lords Welcomes Donors, Lobbyists, Politicos And Former MPs

Members of the House of Lords await the arrival of Queen Elizabeth II for Queens Speech at the State opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster in London.
Members of the House of Lords await the arrival of Queen Elizabeth II for Queens Speech at the State opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster in London.

Party donors, political advisers and former MPs were among those appointed to the House of Lords today, as Downing Street announced a raft of new peerages.

The list of working peers includes 14 Conservatives, 10 Liberal Democrats and five Labour nominees, as well as one Green.

Sir Anthony Bamford, the boss of JCB, is among the most notable of new Tory peers. In total the Bamford family has given around £2.5m to the Conservative party since 2002.

Jon Mendelsohn, the founder of lobbying firm LLM Communications and Gordon Brown's one-time chief fundraiser has been made a Lord by Ed Miliband.

And new Labour peer Sir William Haughey is believed to have donated over £1m to the party since 2003.

Two big Lib Dem donors, Ministry of Sound boss James Palumbo and Rumi Verjee have received peerages from Nick Clegg.

Other high profile new peers include the former Lib Dem director of communications Olly Grender and Times columnist Danny Finkelstein - who will sit in the Lords as a Tory peer.

The appointment of new peers was savaged by democracy campaigners including the Electoral Reform Society.

Katie Ghose, the chief executive of the ERS, said the list showed that Lords reform was "coming back on the agenda no matter what happens at the next general election".

“The 30 new members appointed today are the latest additions to an increasingly bloated chamber. Our research shows that the total number of peers could rise to nearly 1,000 by the end of the current parliament, and to an astonishing and unsustainable 2,000 after the next general election."

“Only China’s set-up competes with the House of Lords in terms of size. And that’s a real headache for whoever is in government after 2015. No matter which party or coalition of parties takes the helm, they will have to do something about the super-sized second chamber."

Joining the party donors and political advisers in the Lords will be several former or current elected politicians.

The Green Party has given a seat to London Assembly member Jenny Jones. While Clegg has handed a peerage to Lib Dem London mayoral candidate Brian Paddick.

Former Tory MP Matthew Carrington, former leader of the Scottish Conservatives Annabel Goldie and former Tory MP John Horam have also all been given peerages.

Here is a full list of the 30 peerages announced by Downing Street today:


Richard Balfe - former MEP and Conservative Party envoy to the Trade Unions and Cooperative movement

Sir Anthony Bamford DL - chairman and managing director of JCB

Nicholas Bourne - former leader of the Conservative Group in the National Assembly for Wales

Matthew Carrington - former Conservative MP

Daniel Finkelstein OBE - Associate editor of The Times and former head of policy for the Conservative party

Annabel Goldie DL MSP - Conservative member of the Scottish Parliament; former Leader of the Scottish Conservatives

Lady (Fiona) Hodgson CBE - campaigner on women's issues; senior member of the Conservative voluntary party; former chairman of the Conservative Women's Organisation

Christopher (Chris) Holmes MBE - former Paralympic swimmer; director of Paralympic Integration at London 2012; non-executive director of the Equality and Human Rights Commission; and a former Non-Executive Director of the Disability Rights Commission

John Horam - former MP; Conservative representative on the Electoral Commission

Howard Leigh - senior corporate finance professional; Conservative Party treasurer; former Chairman and current president of Westminster Synagogue; former trustee of Jewish Care and current chairman of Jewish Care's Business Group; trustee of the Jerusalem Foundation in the UK

Dame Lucy Neville-Rolfe CMG - former senior civil servant, including Number 10 Policy Unit; former leading executive at Tesco Plc

Sir Stephen Sherbourne - longstanding political career in Westminster and public affairs, including former political secretary to the then Prime Minister (Margaret Thatcher), and former chief of staff to the then Leader of the Opposition (Michael Howard)

Michael (Mike) Whitby - Conservative councillor in Birmingham; former leader of Birmingham City Council

Susan Williams - former councillor and Leader of Trafford Council


Jenny Jones AM - member of the London Assembly; former chair of the Green party of England and Wales and former Deputy Mayor of London


Sir Charles Allen CBE - Non-executive director of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games; chairman of Global Radio Group

Sir William Haughey OBE - prominent Scottish businessman and CEO of City Refrigeration Holdings

Alicia Kennedy - former Deputy General Secretary of the Labour party

Doreen Lawrence OBE - campaigner for justice, race equality and better policing

Jonathan (Jon) Mendelsohn - business advisor and co-founder of LLM Communications


Catherine (Cathy) Mary Bakewell MBE - former leader of Somerset County Council

Rosalind (Olly) Grender MBE - former director of communications for Shelter; former director of communications for the Liberal Democrats

Christine Mary Humphreys - President of the Welsh Liberal Democrats; former member of the National Assembly for Wales

Zahida Manzoor CBE - former Legal Services Ombudsman; former Deputy Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality

Brian Paddick - former Deputy Assistant Commissioner in the Metropolitan Police Service

James Palumbo - co-founder and chairman of Ministry of Sound Group, the international music and entertainment business

Jeremy Purvis - former Member of the Scottish Parliament for Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale

Alison Suttie - former press secretary to the president of the European Parliament; former Deputy Chief of Staff to Nick Clegg and election manager for the 2010 General Election

Rumi Verjee CBE - entrepreneur and philanthropist

Sir Ian Wrigglesworth - Liberal Democrat Treasurer; former MP for Teeside Thornaby and for Stockton South