House of Lords: Lord Colgrain elected in hereditary poll

Clerk of the Lords announcing the resultImage copyright
House of Lords

Image caption

The result was announced in the House of Lords

Lord Colgrain has been elected to the House of Lords, seeing off 26 other hereditary peers in a by-election.

The Conservative, an executive head-hunter and former High Sheriff of Kent, is the great-grandson of the Scottish banker Colin Campbell, for whom the title was created in 1946.

The poll, in which all peers actively sitting were entitled to vote, was triggered by the death of Lord Lyell.

A total of 92 hereditary peers remain in the Lords following reforms in 1999.

The 66-year old Lord Colgrain emerged victorious from a crowded field, beating candidates including relatives of ex-premiers Harold Macmillan and David Lloyd George.

The 27 contenders were asked to make the case for themselves in a series of short statements and potted biographies, in which they was also asked to indicate their political allegiances.

Lord Colgrain’s entry read: “My areas of expertise and particular interest are employment and financial services, following 30 years in the financial executive search sector, and rural affairs, regeneration and diversification, as partner in a family farming and property business.

“I chair two charities, am a school governor, trustee of Rochester Cathedral, president of the County Show, and was High Sheriff of Kent 2013-14. I will be able to commit as much time to the House as required.”

The result was due to have been announced last Wednesday but was postponed following the fatal stabbing of a police officer in Parliament.

Lord Lyell was one of the 92 hereditary peers – including two holders of royal offices who are ex officio members – who remained in the Lords in 1999 after the remainder were expelled in reforms carried out by the government of Tony Blair.

Under current conventions, when one of their number dies, a by-election is held to elect a successor. This election was open to all those with hereditary titles on the register kept by the Clerk of the Parliaments.

Among the best-known candidates were Earl Stockton, the grandson of Harold Macmillan – Conservative prime minister between 1957 and 1963. Another famous political family was represented in the form of Earl Lloyd-George of Dwfor, the great grandson of the former Liberal prime minister David Lloyd George.

Other unsuccessful contenders include Lord Harlech, the 30-year old grandson of David Ormsby-Gore, the former Conservative politician and British Ambassador to the United States in the 1960s, who had a close friendship with Jackie Kennedy.

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