UK Politics

Four absent peers cease to be House of Lords members

Baroness D'Souza

Four peers have ceased to be members of the House of Lords after not attending any proceedings in the last year.

They are Lord Bridges, Lord Neill of Bladen, Lord Thomas of Macclesfield and Baroness Lady Thomas of Walliswood.

Under the House of Lords Reform Act 2014, peers who fail to attend proceedings for a whole session have their membership ended.

Speaking in the Lords, Lady D'Souza thanked them for "their much valued service" - which was met with laughter.

She said: "I have to notify the House that the noble Lords Lord Bridges, Lord Neill of Bladen, Lord Thomas of Macclesfield and the noble Baroness Lady Thomas of Walliswood yesterday ceased to members of the House under section 2 of the House of Lords Reform Act 2014 by virtue of not attending any proceedings of the House during the session 2015-16.

"On behalf of the House I should like to thank the noble Lords for their much valued service to the House."

Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Walmsley later criticised the "unfortunate laughter" that greeted the announcement.

She said that, in at least one case, absence was due to ill-health and said former colleagues and their families would have found the chamber's reaction "somewhat hurtful".