Sadly, Baroness Hayman who has been an excellent Lord Speaker, has announced her intention to stand down at the end of her term of office.  Nominations have now closed for the election of her successor and the race is now on.

There are six candidates:

  • Lord Colwyn, a Conservative “elected” hereditary peer and former dentist;
  • Lord Meghnad Desai, a Labour peer, an academic and an economist;
  • Baroness D’Souza, the just retired convenor of the Cross-bench peers and a former academic;
  • Lord Goodlad, a Conservative peer, a former Minister and former High Commissioner for Australia;
  • Baroness Harris of Richmond, a LibDem peer and former Police Authority chair (a Government rebel on the Police Reform Bill);
  • Lord Redesdale, a LibDem peer (formerly an hereditary peer but then made a life peer) and  Chair of the Red Squirrel Protection Partnership.

Each candidate is allowed to circulate an election address of up to 75 words.

Lord Redesdale’s is the shortest – just 24 words:

“I believe in a self-regulating House of Lords. If elected I intend to do as little as possible in the Chamber for the money*.”

I am sure that in these days of austerity that sets the right tone ……

*    The Lord Speaker is paid a salary equivalent to a member of the Cabinet who sits in the House of Lords c £110,000 plus various allowances.
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