15 October 2013
House of Lords Appointments Commission – annual report
The House of Lords Appointments Commission today published its report covering the period from October 2011 to September 2013 which details its work in selecting and recommending non-party-political peers and in vetting party political nominees for the House of Lords.
Finishing his five year term as Chair of the Commission, Lord Jay said:
“During the reporting period the Commission made four recommendations for non-party-political appointments to the House of Lords, in accordance with the clarification we received from the Prime Minister that the Commission should make no more than two recommendations a year for the time being.
“The Commission vetted one list of party-political nominees during this period, announced in August 2013. In total, since October 2011 the Commission has vetted 33 individuals who have gone on to sit on the party-political benches, including three nominees appointed to take up ministerial office.
“It has been an honour to have chaired the Commission over the last five years. I am more than ever convinced that the House of Lords has a crucial role to play in our constitutional democracy and that high calibre appointments reflecting the diversity of the United Kingdom in its broader sense must continue to be made to it.”
Lord Kakkar took over as Chair of the House of Lords Appointments Commission on 1 October.
Notes to Editors
1. Media enquiries about the work of the House of Lords Appointments Commission should go to Maggie O'Boyle on 07880 740627.
2. The annual report and further information on the Appointments Commission can be obtained from www.lordsappointments.independent.gov.uk.
3. The Appointments Commission is a non-statutory advisory body set up by the Prime Minister to make recommendations for non-party-political peerages. The Commission’s remit is to find people of distinction who will bring authority and expertise to the House of Lords. The Commission recommends individuals on merit and their ability to contribute effectively to the work of the House. The House of Lords Appointments Commission has now recommended a total of 63 non-party-political peerages to the Prime Minister, drawn from around 5,000 nominations. The Commission also vets nominations for peerages for propriety, including those nominated by the UK political parties.
4. The membership of the House of Lords Appointments Commission for this reporting period comprised four independent members: Lord (Michael) Jay of Ewelme GCMG (Chairman), Baroness (Jane) Campbell, Professor Dame Joan Higgins and Dr John Low and three members nominated by each of the three main political parties: Lord (Garry) Hart of Chilton (Labour) Rt. Hon. Lord (Michael) Howard of Lympne QC (Conservative) and Baroness (Rosalind) Scott of Needham Market (Liberal Democrat). The Chairman and independent members were selected through open competition.
5. The terms of office of the three independent members - Baroness Jane Campbell, Professor Dame Joan Higgins and Dr John Low - will end on 31 October 2013. There is currently a process – overseen by the Cabinet Office – to recruit three new independent members to the Commission.