House of Lords Appointments Commission

House of Lords Appointment Commission

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House of Lords Appointments Commission - new non-party-political peers

Two new non-party-political peers recommended by the House of Lords Appointments Commission were announced today.

The new peers are:

They will sit on the crossbenches.


17 May 2012


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. Further information on the Appointments Commission can be obtained from

2. Ms Beeban Kidron is an award-winning film, TV and documentary film director. She is also a Governor of the British Film Institute and co-founder and Vice Chair of FILMCLUB, an educational charity which engages children from the ages of 5 to 18 in state schools. Ms Kidron has spent the last 30 years working as an international feature film, TV and documentary film director. Formerly on the Board of the UK Film Council (UKFC 2008-11) she became a Governor of the British Film Institute (BFI) in April 2011. Her artistic and commercial successes have included the BAFTA award-winning Oranges are Not the Only Fruit (1990), To Wong Foo…(1994), and Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason (2003), which remains one of the highest-grossing films in the UK. Her long-standing campaigning interest in women’s issues, international development and education is reflected in her documentaries, such as the critically acclaimed Sex, Death and the Gods (2010) which examined the lives of temple prostitutes in India, and Hookers, Hustlers, Pimps & Their Johns (1994), a study of the New York sex industry. She has a special interest in women’s organisations in the developing world and recently filmed Liberian President Ellen Johnston Shirleaf whilst accompanying a GREAT/Femmes Africa Solidarité mission in the country. In 2008 she co-founded FILMCLUB, an educational charity which shows carefully curated films in order to engage and educate children by supporting and broadly extending the school curriculum. FILMCLUB has established over 7000 film clubs in English state schools and is currently being rolled out to more than a third of all schools in Wales and Northern Ireland with pilot schemes being planned across Europe. She is also a member of the council of the Institute of Contemporary Art, a Patron of Artangel and a mentor with Skillset’s Guiding Lights initiative supporting upcoming filmmakers.

2. Professor Alexander (Sandy) Trees is a veterinary surgeon who has worked in general practice, industry and academia. He recently retired as Professor of Veterinary Parasitology, University of Liverpool, after a career working in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He held a number of senior professional positions, including recently as President of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons of which he is still a Council member. He was Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Liverpool from 2001 to 2008. He has given the prestigious Wooldridge Lecture at the British Veterinary Association Congress and the McCall lecture at the University of Glasgow. He has received the Selborne medal of the Association of Veterinary Teachers and research workers and the Amoroso Award of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association. The major part of Professor Trees’ career has been in academic research and teaching in parasitic diseases at the University of Liverpool, where he held a variety of posts covering a period of over 30 years, commencing in 1980. He has published more than 140 scientific papers and has been active in promoting research and funding for research training, and in the advancement of veterinary education. Professor Trees’ research and teaching has included human as well as animal health. He has made a significant contribution to tropical medicine through his drug development research concerning human river blindness in West Africa and has made major contributions to temperate climate livestock and companion animal diseases, including abortion in cattle and disease threats to travelling pets. He is currently Editor in Chief of the major professional journal, Veterinary Record, and Chairman of the Board of the Moredun Research institute, Edinburgh.

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 61 non-party-political peerages to the Prime Minister, drawn from well over 4,700 nominations. The Commission also vets nominations for life peers, including those nominated by the UK political parties, for propriety.

4. The membership of the House of Lords Appointments Commission comprises 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 Hart of Chilton (Labour) Rt. Hon. Lord Howard of Lympne QC (Conservative) and Baroness Scott of Needham Market (Liberal Democrat) The Chairman and independent members were selected through open competition.