The Prime Minister has today appointed three new independent members to the House of Lords Appointments Commission.
The new members are Lord (Colin) Low, Sir Malcolm Ross and Gillian Peele. Their appointment is effective from 25 November for a fixed term of five years.
The three members of the Commission nominated by the political parties – Lord (Garry) Hart, Lord (Michael) Howard and Baroness (Rosalind) Scott - have also been re-appointed from 5 November for a further three-year term.
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 http://lordsappointments.independent.gov.uk
2. Lord (Colin) Low of Dalston, CBE is the former Chair, now Vice President of RNIB, and President of ICEVI (International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment). Colin Low (CBE) taught Law and Criminology at Leeds University, before becoming Director of the GLC’s Disability Resource Team. He then carried out research into theories of disability as Senior Research Fellow at City University, and was appointed to the crossbenches of the House of Lords by the Commission in 2006.
3. Sir Malcolm Ross, GCVO, OBE: After 25 years in the Regular Army (Scots Guards) Malcolm Ross joined The Queen's Household where, for the majority of the next 20 years he served as Comptroller of The Lord Chamberlain's Office. He was then Master of the Household of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall before retiring in 2008. Since then he has been Lord-Lieutenant of The Stewartry of Kirkcudbrightshire, Prior of Scotland (Chairman of the Order of St John), and Chairman of the Westminster Group plc.
4. Gillian Peele is a Fellow and Tutor in Politics at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. She has published widely on British, American and comparative government. Her current research interests are focussed on the problems associated with the regulation of public ethics in modern states.
5. 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 (since 2000) 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.
6. The House of Lords Appointments Commission is chaired by Lord (Ajay) Kakkar. It has seven members, four - including the Chair - who are independent of Government and the political parties and three who are nominated to represent the main political parties.
7. The Chairman receives remuneration of £8,000 per annum. Members receive remuneration of £3,000 per annum. All members are reimbursed for actual expenses incurred.
8. The appointments of Lord (Colin) Low, Sir Malcolm Ross and Gillian Peele were made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments Code of Practice. All three have declared no political activity within the past 5 years.