Karren Brady and Sir Stuart Rose among new life peers

Karen Brady and Sir Stuart Rose

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Football boss and Apprentice TV show star, Karren Brady, is among 22 new peers announced by the government.

Ms Brady will take a seat on the Conservative benches in the House of Lords alongside former Marks & Spencer chief Sir Stuart Rose.

Other new working peers include former MEP and EastEnders actor Michael Cashman, who will become a Labour peer.

There are 12 new Tory peers, three new Labour ones, six Liberal Democrats and one DUP member of the Lords.

This takes the total number of peers to 796, compared with 650 MPs in the House of Commons.

Donors ennobled

No UKIP peers were appointed despite a coalition agreement pledge to reflect the 2010 general election vote share in Lords appointments.

Conservative donor Ranbir Singh Suri is among those being lined up for a seat in the Lords. The jewellery tycoon and his company have given more than £300,000 to the party since 2006.

Another Conservative donor, Michael Farmer, who has given almost £6m to the party since 2001, is also set to sit in the Lords.

A Conservative spokesman hit back at criticism of the ennoblement of the two donors.

He said: "Michael Farmer and Ranbir Suri are worthy recipients of peerages - Michael has been involved in numerous charities and a successful academy school and Ranbir is a leading member of the British Sikh community and former magistrate."

In a statement, Mr Farmer said: "I am greatly honoured to be nominated by the prime minister to become a Conservative peer and very much look forward to working and supporting the government in the House of Lords, in particular in its important long-term work for the economy, and in its ongoing reform of our welfare and educational systems."

Two of the former Lib Dem council leaders nominated by Nick Clegg have donated money to their party. Barbara Jenke has given £5,498 since 2010 and Pula Scriven £2,000.

Peers are nominated by the party leaders but are vetted by the independent House of Lords Appointments Commission.

'Huge honour'

Ms Brady is perhaps the best-known of the new Lords members and she has been tipped to be given a ministerial job by Prime Minister David Cameron.

She started her career in advertising but shot to prominence in 1993 when she was made a board member of Birmingham City Football Club at the age of 23 by its then owner, Sunday Sport tycoon David Sullivan.

Michael Cashman: "It's a huge and humbling honour"

In 2010 she was appointed vice-chairman of West Ham United and also joined the BBC's Apprentice as one of Labour peer Lord Sugar's advisers.

She was previously a board member of Mothercare, Channel 4 Television and Sport England and is currently a non-executive director of retail giant Arcadia. She has also taken on the role of small business adviser to the government.

Sir Stuart, who worked his way up from a management trainee to head Britain's biggest High Street fashion retailer, has been advising the government since February on how to turn round failing NHS hospitals.

Mr Cashman found fame playing Colin Russell, the first gay character in the BBC's EastEnders, before going on to be a Labour member of the European Parliament and co-founding campaign group Stonewall. He stood down as an MEP this year.

Karren Brady is one of 22 new peers in the House of Lords, which now has almost 800 members, as Robin Brant reports

Commenting on his elevation to the Lords, he told BBC News: "It's a huge and humbling honour. And it really takes me back to my roots. I just wish my old mum and dad were alive to see it.

"And it gives me a huge opportunity to continue the work that I am passionate about - international development, human rights and giving a voice to the voiceless."

'Remain involved'

Former Conservative MEP Martin Callanan said he was "very happy" to be made a peer.

He was leader of the Conservative group of MEPs before he lost his seat for the North East of England in the European elections.

Mr Callanan said he was "happy to take up the offer" of a peerage because "I want to remain involved in politics".


The new Conservative peers

  • Karren Brady, vice-chairman of West Ham United FC and senior non-executive director of the Syco and Arcadia brands
  • Martin Callanan, former Conservative MEP for North East of England
  • Carlyn Chisholm, co-chairman of the Conservative candidates committee
  • Andrew Cooper, former Conservative Party director of political operations, founder of pollsters Populus
  • Natalie Evans, director of the New Schools Network, the charity advising groups on how to set up free schools
  • Michael Farmer, founding partner of RK Mine Finance group, trustee of the Kingham Hill Trust and Conservative Party treasurer
  • Dido Harding, chief executive of TalkTalk Telecom Group PLC
  • Arminka Helic, government special adviser on preventing sexual violence in conflict zones
  • Nosheena Mobarik, businesswomen, founder of the Scotland Pakistan Network
  • Sir Stuart Rose, former chief executive and chairman of Marks & Spencer
  • Joanna Shields, digital adviser to David Cameron, chairwoman of Tech City UK
  • Ranbir Singh Suri, businessman, formerly general secretary of the Board of British Sikhs

The new Labour peers

  • Michael Cashman, former MEP for West Midlands MEP, former actor
  • Chris Lennie, former deputy secretary general of the Labour Party
  • Dame Gail Rebuck, chairman of Penguin Random House UK publishers

The new Liberal Democrat peers

  • Chris Fox, PR director at GKN engineering and former Lib Dem chief executive
  • David Goddard, former leader of Stockport Council
  • Barbara Janke, former leader of Bristol City Council
  • Kath Pinnock, former leader of Kirklees Council
  • Paul Scriven, former leader of Sheffield City Council
  • Dr Julie Smith, senior lecturer in international relations in the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), Cambridge University

The Democratic Unionist Party has nominated William Hay MLA, the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, who has chosen to sit on the crossbenches.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 1015.

    #881 said "you ignore the fact that this government is trying to put right thirteen years of Labour sabotage"

    Rubbish. Deregulation was pursued religiously by Thatcher and Reagan. That's when financial services and investment banks had a field day and went berserk. What was it Thatcher said? There is no society only individuals. What a disgusting view you Tories have. Everyone for themselves.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1014.

    972. DaveM
    You mean people who actually say what they believe like it or not and don't work from a script behind a carefully managed and cultivated image?


    Nah I mean UKIPers

  • rate this

    Comment number 1013.

    CV for Karren Brady (Conservative) -

    Vice-chairman of West Ham United
    Adviser to labour peer Lord Sugar
    Board member of Mothercare, Channel 4 Television, Sport England Non-executive director of Arcadia
    Small business adviser to the Conservative government

    CV for Michael Cashman (labour) : East Enders actor

  • rate this

    Comment number 1012.

    What happened to the proposals for an elected second chamber? Oh, right, they were kicked into the long grass by Tory backbenchers a couple of years ago.

    It really is time that the people got their right to elect our representatives to the House.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1011.

    It beggars belief that in the 21st century we still have legislators appointed by patronage - many of whom blatantly buy their titles. Of course, it suits all parties as they all have their snouts in the trough. And we have the nerve to lecture others on democracy!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1010.

    Tom Pierce, Tom Pierce, lend me your grey mare, all along down along out along lee, for we are a going to wydecombe fair, wi Stuart Rose, Karen Brady, Mark Bolland, Terry Leahy,, Bill Brewer Dan Stewer, Peter Gurny, Peter Davy Daniel Windon Harry Hawk, and Uncle Tom Cobbly and all, and Uncle Tom Cobbley and all.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1009.

    How nice a government wanting to cut the number of MPs but do a good job at stuffing the house of lords with more money grabbers at tax payer expense

  • rate this

    Comment number 1008.

    Is this part of the governments "austerity" programme?

    Another 22 "lords" claiming numerous allowances starting at £300 for turning up (some maybe for 1/2 an hr)

    I wonder how they'll shoehorn them into the already bursting full HOL

    18 of 22 government supporters and donors.

    Thats austerity for you.

    WE are all in this together.. but if you can gift £6 million to the Tories you definitely arent

  • rate this

    Comment number 1007.

    Throw out the life peers and bring back the hereditary peers. The latter, being based on chance, were more democratic and representative

  • rate this

    Comment number 1006.

    yet again we are being told to pay for wealthy people to just turn up and get paid for doing nothing , a time once was the Lords our upper house call it what you will had some credibility ? not now its beyond a joke a very expensive joke , can we please have a government who actually listens to the voters ie their pay masters (joke again) because it seems they are accountable to no one .

  • rate this

    Comment number 1005.

    Typical Tory filth and sleaze! They are in power to keep their coffers overflowing. The public in general is suffocated by the Tories, they made a total mess out of the public services with the deep and savage cuts. They decimated the NHS and Cameron and Co continue to get richer by the day. Only the electorate can bring them down from that pedestal, Tories are there to protect the elite class!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1004.

    Well they will be able to make back there donations over the years by turning up to the lords with fees and expense

    It is time that the house of lords was elected by the people and not down to which party you give money too

  • rate this

    Comment number 1003.

    It's high time this anachronism of a non elected second chamber was abolished, not least because Cameron appears to be stuffing it with individuals whose main selection criterion appears to have been a bung to Tory party coffers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1002.

    the lords is about as accountable to the taxpayer as the bbc is to its licence fee payer.

    it must all end asap and be replace by democracy

  • rate this

    Comment number 1001.

    this honours garbage needs to be stopped, all looking after their cronies, time this country grew up

  • rate this

    Comment number 1000.

    All those people complaining about there being no UKIP peers?

    Two things. Firstly, they market themselves as being 'anti-establishment'. You can't be that and then bleat that you aren't in the House of Lords. It's one or the other.

    Secondly? It kind of helps getting someone elected to the Commons first. You know - to show you're a serious political party like...

  • rate this

    Comment number 999.

    995. Great Comment

    I think I have a basic understanding, but there is always room for improvement.

    The principle of two houses is fine.

    I dont see the need for the increases year on year - so much they cant all fit in now.

    I cant understand your point about how the government packing the 2nd house (thats supposed to keep them in check) with its supporters is good for democracy? Please explain

  • rate this

    Comment number 998.

    Karen Brady?

    CallMeDave is dredging the bottom of the Tory funders barrel, I see.

  • rate this

    Comment number 997.

    A seat in the Lords is for LIFE and only in VERY VERY EXCEPTIONABLE CIRCUMSTANCES CAN THEY BE REMOVED. Which of course means NEVER, and it all depends on how much money you give the government.

  • rate this

    Comment number 996.


    Not very proportionate when you look at the votes cast in the last general election.
    Conservative have to stack the house of lords so that if they lose next years election they can still make life difficult for the party in power


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