John Bowers
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Appointments to the House of Lords
Ermined disgraces
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Consisting of an eclectic mix of nearly 800 Members as of July 2023, the House of Lords is the second largest legislature in the world, after the National People’s Congress of China. The most egregious failure of due diligence in recent times occurred in the case of Lord Lebedev. What is unprecedented here is that Johnson pursued a nomination when the House of Lords Appointments Committee (HoLAC) said ‘no no no’, and the security services apparently had concerns too. HoLAC is an independent, non-statutory, advisory, non-departmental public body with some independents and three members nominated by the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties. It was established in May 2000 as an interim measure, pending Lords reform, which was envisaged by the then Prime Minister (Tony Blair). Its primary role is to recommend at least two people a year for appointment as non-party-politicals, who sit on the cross-benches.

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