Gummer’s pride at peerage
PUBLISHED: 09:00 01 June 2010
FORMER Suffolk MP John Gummer has said he is “excited and honoured” after being given a peerage.
The former Suffolk Coastal MP was named as a new member of the House of Lords on Friday.
Mr Gummer, 70, who stepped down as an MP at last month’s general election, is also hoping his new role will enable him to continue campaigning on climate change.
The former Environment Secretary said: “I’m delighted to have been given such a unique opportunity. It’s a real honour. It will take a few weeks before I’m introduced to the House and I’m really excited about it.
“I suppose I will be the new boy in a sense and I have to say that it’s nice to be the new boy at my age.”
As a peer, Mr Gummer will be able to play an active part in shaping legislation as well as overseeing and checking the work of the Government.
There are currently 740 Members of the House of Lords made up of life peers, bishops and elected hereditary peers.
Mr Gummer added: “I stepped down as an MP because I wanted to focus more on campaigning to help the environment and especially on coastal erosion issues.
“I hope that becoming a peer will enable me to continue playing an active role in this area.
“I still hope to travel to climate change conferences and will look to scrutinise the Government on environmental issues.”
Mr Gummer, who had served as MP for Suffolk Coastal since 1979, will be joined in the Lords by some notable figures.
John Prescott, the former deputy prime minister, was one of more than 50 people named in Friday’s honours list.
Peerages were given to several former Labour cabinet ministers.
A string of Conservatives were also named in the list, including the former party leader Michael Howard.