As you may have already seen, eleven new Liberal Democrat peers have been announced as part of the dissolution Honours. First all of us here at Lib Dem Watch would like to say congratulations to them.
We’ll break down the honours shortly but firstly, and rather surprisingly, there wwas no peerage for Fiona Hall, former groups leader of the Lib Dem MEP’s. Annette Brooke also missed out. As of yet we don’t know if they were offered but refused. This seems unlikely as far as we know.
That being said most of the list has been as expected, Sir Alan Beith, Sir Malcolm Bruce and Sir Menzies Campbell are all in the mix due to being some of our longest serving MP’s. Danny Alexander and Vince Cable both turned down peerages but they have had knighthoods instead. The two names that please us most on the list are Shas Sheehan and Dorothy Thornhill, who are both part of Tim Farron’s team of spokespeople. The list in full is below:
Sharon was a member of the EU for the South East Region from 2005 until 2014. Before she became an MEP she worked as a European patent attorney. Back in 05 she took over Chris Huhne in the European Parliament when he was elected to the Commons. Part of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs she became a substitute member of the Committee on Legal Affairs too.
Sharon was Re-elected to the European Parliament in 2009 and was put in place as the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, and then re-elected to this role in 2012 serving until 2014. She is now a non-executive director of the London Stock Exchange Group PLC.
Lorely Burt was the MP for Solihull from 2005 until the General Election in May 2015. Lorely served as a Liberal Democrat spokesperson on Northern Ireland, Small Business, Women and Equality, and Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. In October 2007 she was elected as the party’s first female Chair of the Liberal Democrats’ Parliamentary Party. In 2014 she was appointed the government’s Ambassador for Women in Enterprise and later as an Assistant Government Whip.
SIR MALCOLM BRUCE
Malcolm Bruce was in the seat of Gordon from 1983, until he stood down at the General Election in May 2015. He as served as the Lib Dem spokesperson fo Energy, Trade, the Environment and the Treasury.
He also lead the Scottish Liberal Democrats between 1988 and 1992 and was the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats between 2014 and 2015.
SIR MENZIES CAMPBELL
Menzies Campbell had the seat of North-East Fife from 1987 until he stood down at the General Election in May 2015. Ming has served as Foreign Affairs Spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats between 1992 and 2006, was Deputy Leader of the party between 2003 and 2006, and then Leader of the Liberal Democrats between 2006 and 2007.
He has been a member of several Commons Select Committee, including the Defence and Foreign Affairs Select Committee, as well as a member of Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee.
SIR ALAN BEITH
Alan was the MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed for 42 years, winning for the first time there in by-election way back November 1973. He stood down at the General Election in May this year.
He has also held held the role of Chief Whip of the Liberal Party, is a former Home Affairs Spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats, and a former Deputy Leader of both the Liberal Party and the Liberal Democrats. He also served for 18 years in the House of Commons as a member of the Commission, and also served on the Treasury Select Committee. Finally he chaired the Justice Select Committee between 2010 and 2015.
Lynne Featherstone was the MP for Hornsey and Wood Green from 2005 until the General Election in May this year. She has been the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for London and International Development, and a key member of the home affairs team.
In May 2010 Lynne was appointed a minister in the Home Office with responsibility for equalities. She then moved to the Department for International Development in 2012, after her success in that area Lynne returned to the Home Office in 2014 as Minister of State for Crime Prevention, playing a key role in rights for victims of domestic violence.
All peers agreed:
It is a great honour to be appointed to the House of Lords and we intend to play a full and active part in its work. We remain committed to reform and for a democratic system to replace patronage.
Check back on the blog later this week where we’ll be profiling the remaining 5 elected peers.