UK Politics

Seven Lib Dem hereditary peers to contest Lords election

John Thurso
Image caption Viscount Thurso, a former MP, is among the candidates

Seven candidates are standing for election to become a Liberal Democrat hereditary peer in the House of Lords.

The ballot was triggered by the death of Lord Avebury, the former MP Eric Lubbock, earlier this year.

Those standing include Viscount John Thurso, a former MP and Earl Lloyd-George of Dwfor, the great grandson of the former Liberal prime minister.

Only the three current Lib Dem hereditary peers in the Lords are entitled to vote in the contest.

The small but select band of electors consists of the Earl of Oxford and Asquith - the great grandson of former Prime Minister Herbert Asquith - the Earl of Glasgow and Lord Addington.

Ballots must be cast by 17.00 BST on 18 April, with the result due to be announced the following day.

John Thurso was MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross for 14 years before losing his seat last year, while Earl Lloyd-George of Dwfor has worked in industries ranging from fishing to risk insurance.

The five other candidates are:

  • Lord Calverley, who sat in the House of Lords before the majority of hereditaries were removed in 1999
  • former soldier, the Earl of Carlisle
  • businessman Lord Kennet
  • former councillor Earl Russell
  • entrepreneur Lord Somerleyton.

Each has been asked to submit a 75-word statement about their background and relevant experience.

Reforms to the Lords by the last Labour government left just 92 hereditary peers in place. Since then vacancies arising from the death of members have been filled through a series of by-elections.

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