POLITICS
31/03/2015 12:14 BST | Updated 31/03/2015 12:59 BST

Lord Ashcroft Quits House Of Lords To Spend More Time With His Opinion Polls

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 08:  Lord Michael Ashcroft attends a rally in support of London Mayor Boris Johnson on the second day of the Conservative party conference in the International Convention Centre on October 8, 2012 in Birmingham, England. The annual, four-day Conservative party conference began yesterday and features speeches from Cabinet ministers and the Mayor of London.  (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Oli Scarff via Getty Images
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 08: Lord Michael Ashcroft attends a rally in support of London Mayor Boris Johnson on the second day of the Conservative party conference in the International Convention Centre on October 8, 2012 in Birmingham, England. The annual, four-day Conservative party conference began yesterday and features speeches from Cabinet ministers and the Mayor of London. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Conservative peer and polling guru Lord Ashcroft has announced he is quitting the House of Lords with immediate effect.

In a statement issued on Tuesday afternoon, Ashcroft said: "Earlier this year Baroness D’Souza, the Lord Speaker, said that any Member of the House of Lords who can “no longer contribute meaningfully” should retire. She added that since the House has close to 800 members, “retirement at the right time should be seen as a condition of membership of the House of Lords – a duty as well as a right”.

"I agree with the Speaker, and have concluded that my other activities do not permit me to devote the time that membership of the Lords properly requires.

"Accordingly, I have today written to the Clerk of the Parliaments giving notice of my resignation from the House of Lords with immediate effect, pursuant to Section 1(1) of the House of Lords Reform Act 2014.

"I will continue my involvement in politics through Lord Ashcroft Polls and my political publishing interests: Conservative Home, Biteback Publishing and Dods."