Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Lords-in-waiting kept waiting

Lords-in-Waiting are technically members of the Royal Household, most of whom operate as government whips in the House of Lords.

Plaid Cymru have their own version of Lords-in-Waiting, the three party activists nominated for peerages after years of hand-wringing about whether Welsh nationalists should take their seats in the Upper House (alongside Lord Elis-Thomas of Nant Conwy).

It's five months since Dafydd Wigley, Eurfyl ap Gwilym and Janet Davies were put forward for peerages. They are still lords-in-waiting unable to sniff the ermine robes let alone try them on for size.

Plaid's parliamentary leader Elfyn Llwyd proposed the trio in a letter to the patronage secretary - the Government's chief whip, Geoff Hoon.

Several months on, it appears that the Lords Appointments Commission, which vets potential peers, has yet to consider their cases.

Could it be that Gordon Brown's Government is a little sensitive where peerages are concerned? You could understand why, after the furore over allegations that his predecessor's administration effectively sold honours. (All concerned denied wrongdoing, no charges were brought).

Detectives investigated the allegations after a complaint to Scotland Yard from a Scottish Nationalist MP. Elfyn Llwyd also wrote to the police.

Leading figures in Plaid appreciate the irony that the arrival of Lord Wigley and company in the upper chamber may have been delayed by a political row they helped generate.

1 comment:

Idris said...

There may be some truth in that, but perhaps there's another strand. Do you think Brown & Co took kindly to Plaid's method of selection, i.e. a democratic vote?