Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Should Mandelson resign his peerage if he leaves Government?

This is the question that Gordon prentice has asked, albeit indirectly, in a motion he has tabled.
That this House believes that individuals who are given peerages to enable them to serve as Ministers in the House of Lords should relinquish the peerage on leaving the Government.
I guess this would also include Digby Jones too. Is it right that someone given a seat in the Legislature and made a Minister by patronage should keep that seat for life once they leave the Government? Whether it be by virtue of the ballot box on the composition of the Commons or simply an end to their role in Government?

10 comments:

Witterings From Witney said...

Not only should they be forced to relinquish their title and all that goes with it, but it also raises another point.

If someone wishes to become part of government then they should stand for election and not become a government minister by 'fiat', especially on the say so of someone whose decisions affecting our country have been shown to be suspect!

IanVisits said...

I wonder if the motion was prompted by a letter in The Spectator last week which pointed out that under the terms of the 1963 Peerage Act, you can only surrender a Peerage if you inherited it.

As Lord Mandelson was awarded his Peerage, he can't surrender the title - unless a new law is passed to permit it.

The Mandelson Act 2009?

Whiffler said...

A fair point - but wouldn't Mandy have been ennobled anyway on completion of his term as a Gravy Train Beneficiery (sorry - Euro Commissioner)?.

Not a sheep said...

I 100% agree with Gordon Prentice on this one. It sticks in my craw to have to write "Lord" Mandelson and the sooner I no longer have to, the better.

Flavious said...

No need to resign, that twat will have it revoked by E.R. all things being equal when the latest scandal involving him comes to light.

Judging by the Evening Standards efforts in this matter, it won't be long.

Croydonian said...

Why not get rid of the 'honours' system, bag, baggage, Bath and Garter instead?

Jon Worth said...

Sorry to be a political geek, but you can't actually resign a life peerage. It's only possible to resign a hereditary peerage (and Tony Benn did) or have a life peerage removed (as for Baroness Sarah Ludford who wanted to be a MEP instead). It also had relevance when Baroness Ashton took over from Mandy.

See the 4th paragraph and the comments here.

quisling said...

Sorry to be a bigger political geek, but Jon, you are wrong: the only mechanisms for having a peerage removed are the Peerage Act 1963 (one can disclaim most hereditary peerages for life) or the Titles Deprivation Act 1917 (one's peerage can be forfeit if one fought against the UK during the First World War). Titles could also historically be forfeit for treason, but by the passage of the latter I'm guessing that's no longer the case.
Lady Ludford is still a peer, and, barring an Act of Parliament, shall still be on the day she dies. She is barred from sitting in the House of Lords while an MEP, but that doesn't make her any less noble.

I am loath to heed the musings on the peerage of one who writes about "Baroness Sarah Ludford" and "Baron Arthur Cockfield"...

canvas said...

I hope the same goes for that dreadful Sayeed Warsi too.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Mandelson is angling to become Nu Labour's Dear Leader. But to do that, he has to resign his life Peerage, then stand in a bye-election to be elected as an ordinary MP. Then he and his supporters could mount a leadership challenge to Mr Brown.

But why should Mr Mandelson give up a cushy billet in the Upper House. All those privileges, all that expenses cash - 'Money for Old Rope'. Along with his MPs pension when he was a UK MPs, then he massive pension fron EU-SSR-Land as a Kommie Kommizzar aux Bruxxelles.

Even if he did give up his life peerage to stand as Labour's Dear Leader, he still retains his previous pensions. So its 'Win, Win' all round, 'Money For Old Rope!'

(TumbleWeedNumpty)