U.K. Parties Give Donors Parliamentary Seats for LifeRobert Hutton
Britain’s main political parties announced the latest set of their donors and supporters to get seats for life in the House of Lords.
Today’s 30 appointees include Anthony Bamford, chairman of JC Bamford Excavators Ltd., whose company has given 2.7 million pounds ($4.1 million) to the Conservatives, and William Haughey, chairman of City Refrigeration Holdings UK, who has given 1.3 million pounds to the Labour Party.
The upper chamber of Parliament was historically filled by members of the hereditary nobility. There are still some nobles and Church of England Bishops. Its members can introduce and vote on legislation. Its 838 members make it one of the largest legislative chambers in the world.
An attempt by Liberal Democrat members of the coalition government to introduce elections to the Lords was blocked last year by Tory lawmakers, in defiance of Prime Minister David Cameron, who supported the plan.
Daniel Finkelstein, a journalist at the Times newspaper, will sit for the Conservatives in the Lords. Doreen Laurence, who fought a long campaign for justice after her son was killed in a racist attack, will sit for Labour, as will Charles Allen, senior adviser to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
The Green Party nominated Jenny Jones, a former deputy mayor of London after a ballot of all its members. John Horam, who will sit for the Conservatives in the Lords, has represented the Conservatives, Labour and the SDP, a fore-runner to the Liberal Democrats, in the House of Commons.