Liberal Democrat Judith Jolly awarded peerage

Image caption, Judith Jolly will be campaigning for a fully elected House of Lords

A senior politician in the South West has been awarded a peerage.

Judith Jolly, chairman of the Executive Committee of Liberal Democrats in Devon and Cornwall, will receive the honour from the Queen.

Mrs Jolly, 59, from west Cornwall, has been an active party member since the birth of her first son when she campaigned for better facilities for pregnant women.

She said she was "delighted" at the appointment.

She said: "It's an exciting time for the Liberal Democrats. Who could have predicted 10 years ago that I would be in the House of Lords and the party would be in government?"

Mrs Jolly said she would campaign for a fully elected House of Lords and then stand for election.

Labour is currently the largest single party in the Lords with 234 peers, compared with the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats which have 193 and 79 peers respectively.

There are currently 181 independent cross-benchers.

With 53 new appointments, it will take the total membership of the House of Lords to nearly 750 - the highest number since the bulk of hereditary peers were excluded in 1999.

The coalition has said it will publish outline plans for future reform of the House of Lords before the end of the year, with many Lib Dems and Labour MPs calling for a fully elected chamber.

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