Tyne & Wear

Peerage for Newcastle City Council leader

John Shipley
Image caption Mr Shipley is to step down as leader of the council

John Shipley, the leader of Newcastle City Council, has been made a peer in the Dissolution Honours List.

The 63-year-old Liberal Democrat, who has been a city councillor for 34 years, said he was "deeply honoured".

The appointment means Mr Shipley will be stepping down as council leader, though he said he intended to continue as a councillor for the Parklands ward.

Dissolution Honours are awarded at the end of each Parliament so outgoing prime ministers can reward colleagues.

They also allow the new prime minister to appoint working peers.

Mr Shipley, who was made an OBE in 1995, previously worked for the Open University and Procter and Gamble. He was first elected as a councillor to Newcastle City Council in 1975.

He said: "This is an exciting opportunity which I shall relish.

"The North East does not have many members of the House of Lords and it is important that our voice is heard effectively."

He added: "I shall be a working peer and expect to be working closely with colleagues in local government on legislation proposed by the new government."

A new council leader and Liberal Democrat group leader will be elected in the next few weeks.

Former deputy prime minister John Prescott, former Northern Ireland first minister Ian Paisley, former Conservative leader Michael Howard and Gordon Brown's long-serving aide Sue Nye are among those also awarded peerages.

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