Harold Macmillan's grandson loses out to headhunter in hereditary peer race

Written by David Singleton on 27 March 2017 in Diary
Diary

The former prime minister's relative came third in the House of Lords by-election.

An executive head-hunter and former high sheriff of Kent has beaten relatives of ex-premiers Harold Macmillan and David Lloyd George to be elected to the House of Lords as a hereditary peer.

Lord Colgrain emerged victorious from a crowded field in the by-election triggered by the death of Lord Lyell.

Candidates had to be hereditary dukes, earls, marquesses, viscounts or barons and there were 27 in the running, including the grandson of Harold Macmillan and the great-grandson of David Lloyd George.

Conservative-supporting Lord Colgrain came first with 143 votes. He is the great-grandson of the Scottish banker Colin Campbell, who was president of the British Bankers' Association from 1938 to 1946.

Second place went to the lobbying consultancy boss James Bethell, while Macmillan’s grandson Earl Stockton came third.

Lord Lyell was one of the 92 hereditary peers who remained in the Lords in 1999 after the remainder were expelled in reforms carried out by Tony Blair’s government. Under current conventions, when one of their number dies, a by-election is held to elect a successor.

The 27 contenders were asked to make the case for themselves in a series of short statements and potted biographies. Lord Colgrain outlined his many responsibilities but said he would "be able to commit as much time to the House as required". Earl Stockton's failure to win win the race may be explained by the fact that he did not provide any reason why he should be elected and just submitted a potted CV instead.

One of the youngest candidates was crossbencher Lord Mostyn, who was named Britain's 13th richest person under 30 in 2013. In his short statement, he highlighted his age: "My Lords, being only 32 years old I can bring some much-needed youth to the House. I can also be a spokesman for the under-represented north-west of England and Wales as my base is located in north Wales."

But the tactic plainly backfired as Lord Mostyn only got six votes.

 

 

 

Picture by: PA/PA Archive/PA Images.

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