Former Battle MP given life peerage

Greg Barker MP SUS-141109-132440001
Greg Barker MP SUS-141109-132440001

The former Member of Parliament for Bexhill and Battle Greg Barker was made a Lord as part of the prime minister’s list of new peers.

Mr Barker represented the constituency for 14 years from 2001 to 2015 and will now become a member of the House of Lords.

The Conservative MP was a member of cabinet in his final stint in office as minister of state for energy and climate change. The 49-year-old stood down from the Commons before the general election and was succeeded by Huw Merriman, but will now return to Westminster as a Lord.

Mr Barker, who is also a trustee at the De La Warr Pavilion, was delighted with the nomination from David Cameron and can’t wait to get back into politics.

“I am very pleased and looking forward to making a contribution to the House of Lords,” he said.

“I didn’t expect the nomination but I am very grateful to the prime minister for giving it to me.”

Mr Barker has been involved in climate change and the environment from early in his political life and has continued that agenda since stepping down.

He is the chairman of the international advisory board at a renewable heat firm, the non-executive director of Lightsource Renewable Energy and chairman of the London Sustainable Development Commission.

When asked if he would be pushing for green energy in his newest role, Greg said he wanted to assess his policies before committing to any causes.

“I am going to pause and reflect on my issues before pushing anything – it’s time to press the refresh button,” he said.

“The House of Lords is a very different entity to the House of Commons but I am looking forward to contributing in many different ways.”

Next week Mr Barker will find out his title as a lord before his peerage is formerly confirmed by the Queen.

The PM’s list of peers has drawn criticism from some quarters for cronyism after giving former Tory ministers and aides promotions to the Upper House.

The list includes ex-party leader William Hague, Kate Fall and David Willets.

The Lib Dems got 11 peers, with eight for Labour, making a total of 45 new Lords members, swelling the total size of the Upper House to 826.

Calls for an elected House of Lords have grown this week as the institution has been in the limelight in the national press following Mr Cameron’s announcement.

However, the PM believes there is ‘no point’ in reviving Upper House reform.

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