New peers appointed

Lord Norton

The House has acquired two new members.  The House of Lords Appointments Commission published on Monday the names of two new cross-bench peers:  

Susan Campbell CBE, the Chair of UK Sport; she is also Chair of the Youth Sports Trust and has previously been British Colleges Pentathlon Champion.

David Pannick QC, a barrister specialising in in public law, human rights and sports law.  He will be known to readers of The Times for his highly readable columns in the law section. 

The House already has members with expertise in the field of sports (including some who have participated in, and won medals – including Gold, at Olympic Games) but clearly this week this expertise is reinforced.

On Tuesday, Lord Jay of Ewelme (incorrectly referred to in the Appointments Commission press release on Monday as Lord Michael Jay) took over as Chair of the Commission from Lord Stevenson of Coddenham.  Lord Jay is a former Permanent Secretary of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Head of the Diplomatic Service.

Having mentioned that we have some peers who have won Olympic medals, can any readers name them?

9 comments for “New peers appointed

  1. 02/10/2008 at 8:41 pm

    It is annoying when they quote peers’ titles incorrectly, although it has to be noted that several peers do style themselves like that, as if they were the son or daughter of a duke. The BBC is terrible for this too – I’ve contacted them and had them correct their website before now.

    We’ll have to wait to see what title the new peers choose. There have been Campbells before, but no Pannick. It seems unlikely that they will choose interesting titles that are something other than their surnames.

    As for your challenge, the obvious one is Lord Coe, but you imply that there are others. I’ll have to pass on that!

  2. lordnorton
    03/10/2008 at 7:21 am

    Jonathan: I agree with everything you write. On the challenge, Lord Coe is indeed the obvious one. There are others…

  3. howridiculous
    03/10/2008 at 9:57 am

    Dear Jonathan and Lord Norton,

    My blood boils about the incorrect titling of Lords.

    I saw on the BBC last night that Lord Imbert was titled ‘Baron Imbert’ and was called ‘Baron Imbert’ during conversation.

    Howridiculous.

  4. Bedd Gelert
    03/10/2008 at 10:47 am

    Aren’t we forgetting Lord Mandy of…

  5. handj
    03/10/2008 at 8:27 pm

    It is heartening to see others are irked by the incorrect use of peers forenames – but it is becoming so common on the BBC, and by some peers, that it would appear that a new convention may be emerging. However, what is wrong about about Baron Imbert – isn’t it just preference to be styled Lord (as Viscounts and up may also be) unless the Lords are Lords in the peerage of Scotland?

    As for Olympic medalists, I would add BOA Chsairman Lord Moynihan (one of the Weatherill hereditaries) to the Life Peer, Lord Coe, but admittedly he too is fairly obvious.

  6. 04/10/2008 at 10:44 pm

    handj: the trouble is, people think the “convention” is that peers just use their surname, but that it’s OK to break the convention and “insert” a forename. It’s not a surname, it’s a title. It just happens that most peers now choose to use their surname as their title (or as part of it). There are still exceptions, though: Tony Banks was Lord Stratford, and Dennis Turner is Lord Bilston. What would the BBC call them?

    In English law, people can call themselves whatever they want. I think it’s fair to say it’s no more meaningful or valid for a life peer to stick “Lord” as a prefix to his name than it is for you, me, or any man off the street.

  7. lordnorton
    05/10/2008 at 6:47 pm

    Jonathan: You make a very pertinent point in your first paragraph. On your second paragraph, people can call themselves whatever they wish, though I think two qualifications are in order. First, there is a difference between self-ascription and a name, title or rank conferred by others. Certain formal consequences may flow from the conferment of a rank or title. Because I have a life peerage, I sit in the House of Lords. Someone who decides to style themselves ‘lord’ does not. Someone holding the rank of colonel in the army can give orders to soldiers; anyone conferring on themselves the name of ‘colonel’ cannot. The title or rank may be the consequence of others believing that you have some merit. A self-conferred title does not have that connotation. As such, it may mislead others, who may assume that it is the result of recognition of merit by others. Second, if you gave yourself a particular title – you mention ‘lord’ – it may not necessarily be free of legal consequences: for example, if you decided to call yourself police constable.

  8. 05/10/2008 at 9:32 pm

    My last comment was perhaps a little unclear. My point is that if a life peer is referred to as “Lord John Smith”, that’s the style of the son of a duke or marquess, which he’s not entitled too, and it’s no more accurate than the “man off the street” using that style. I believe such a style is only a courtesy title anyway, so confers no special privileges, unlike a substantive title such as Lord Norton of Louth.

  9. lordnorton
    05/10/2008 at 10:03 pm

    Jonathan: I see now what you were getting at and agree with you. Younger sons of Dukes and Marquesses adopt the courtesy titles as you indicate. I find it somewhat ironic that ministers who insert their forenames in their titles are adopting a style that denotes members of aristocratic families who do not enjoy seats in the legislature.

Comments are closed.