Trimble heads working peers list

DOWNING Street has released the names of 23 individuals who will become working life peers. Publication was delayed because of the row over the “ermine for loans” scandal which erupted last month after it was revealed Tony Blair had recommended peerages for people who had loaned money to the Labour Party.

By Graham Dines

DOWNING Street has released the names of 23 individuals who will become working life peers. Publication was delayed because of the row over the “ermine for loans” scandal which erupted last month after it was revealed Tony Blair had recommended peerages for people who had loaned money to the Labour Party.

Among the new peers is David Trimble, former leader of the Ulster Unionists, who lost his seat at the General Election.

The list consists entirely of party political appointees. Six will sit on the Labour benches, seven Tories, five Liberal Democrats, one Ulster Unionist and three Democratic Unionists, the party's first peers.


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Colin Boyd, will sit on the crossbenches as he has a quasi-judicial role as Scotland's Lord Advocate.

The new peers are:

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LABOUR

Sir Bill Morris: General Secretary of the Trade and General Workers Union from 1991-2003, and Britain's first black union leader.

Maggie Jones: A prominent member of public-sector union Unison, who was defeated as Labour's candidate in Michael Foot's former seat in Blaenau Gwent at last year's general election by independent Peter Law who quit the party over the use of an all-woman shortlist to select its candidate.

Margaret Ford: chairman of regeneration body English Partnerships.

Denise Kingsmill: Former deputy chairman of the Competition Commission and a lawyer.

Joyce Quin: MP for Gateshead from 1987 to 2005.

Keith Bradley: MP for Manchester Withington from 1987 until was defeated by the Liberal Democrats in 2005.

CONSERVATIVE

David James: business troubleshooter once brought in by the Government to salvage the Millennium Dome drew up a list of ways to cut Whitehall spending for the Tories before the last election. Has donated £18,550 to the party since transparency laws were introduced in 2001.

Jonathan Marland. As party treasurer, he came under fire last month for initially refusing to reveal the names of Tory lenders. He has donated £154,000 to the party over the last two years.

Sandip Verma. The British Asian businesswoman, founder of a firm providing home care for the elderly, fought the Wolverhampton seat once held by Enoch Powell at the 2005 general election.

Charles Leach. A former merchant banker, he has been behind high-profile campaigns against the euro and for European Union reform. He has made two donations totalling £12,000.

Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart. Leader of Kent County Council, he is also chairman of the Local Government Association.

Mohamed Iltaf Sheikh. Croydon solicitor. Chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum and has donated £37,501.

John Taylor, director of Taylors Bulbs. His declarable donations total £6,600.

LIBERAL DEMOCRAT:

John Burnett: MP for Torridge and West Devon 1997-2005.

Brian Cotter: MP for Weston-super-Mare from 1997 until 2005, when the businessman was defeated by the Conservatives.

John Lee: Former Tory minister and MP for Nelson and Colne and then Pendle 1979-92, defecting to Liberal Democrats in 2001.

Robin Teverson: Euro MP for Cornwall and West Plymouth 1994-99.

Celia Thomas: Formerly head of office of the party's whips in the House of Lords.

ULSTER UNIONIST

David Trimble: Helped secure the Good Friday Agreement. Lost his parliamentary seat last May.

DEMOCRATIC UNIONIST

Eileen Paisley. The wife of party leader the Rev Ian Paisley, she is a former member of Belfast city council and a party vice president.

Maurice Morrow. The party chairman, Assembly member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone since 1998 and served as the Social Development Minister for over a year.

Wallace Browne, Lord Mayor of Belfast sincet May, becoming the first person in the DUP to hold the post for four years.

CROSSBENCH:

Colin Boyd. Although formally nominated by the Prime Minister, Mr Boyd will sit on the non-partisan crossbenches as he is Scotland's Lord Advocate, a semi-judicial role.

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