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West Ham's Karren Brady 'honoured and proud' to become Tory life peer

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West Ham's Karren Brady 'honoured and proud' to become Tory life peer

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Communities and also in Central Government

West Ham's Karren Brady 'honoured and proud' to become Tory life peer West Ham's Karren Brady 'honoured and proud' to become Tory life peer

West Ham United vice chairman Karren Brady says she is "honoured and proud" to have been made a Conservative life peer.

One of the most high profile women working in football, Brady played a key role in securing the club's move to the Olympic Stadium.

She says she intends to use the appointment to "support British business" and further the cause of women in work.

Brady, who also appears on the BBC show 'The Apprentice' alongside Alan Sugar, is one of the peers appointed today who has not made a significant donation to any political party.

Commenting on the announcement, Karren Brady said: "I feel honoured and proud to have been invited to serve in the House of Lords as a working peer," Ms Brady confirmed.

"I have a long-held passion for championing the causes of British business and women in the workplace and these will be two key areas of focus for me in this new role."

According to the Electoral Reform Society, six of the 22 new peers announced by the government today have made donations totalling nearly £7 million to political parties.

By far the biggest donor among the new peers is Michael Farmer, who has handed the Conservative party a total of £6,557,158 - £6,250 of which was donated through proxies.

The second greatest largesse came from Rabinder Singh Suri, who has gifted the Tories £312,435 - £183,055 of which came via proxies.

Meanwhile, fellow new peers Dame Gail Rebuck and Michael Cashman have donated £33,250 and £2,500 respectively to the Labour party.

And two generous Lib Dem donors also made the cut: Barbara Janke has handed over £5,498 to the party, whilst Paul Scriven has stumped up £2,000.

Sixteen of the 22 new peers have previously held political positions, either elected or employed.

Another high profile addition announced for the Lords is Sir Stuart Rose, the former CEO of Marks & Spencer, though he hasn't given any money to a political party.

The new appointments bring the total number of peers in the House of Lords to 850.

Katie Ghose, chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said: “These appointments further cement the impression that to get into the House of Lords, all you have to do is write a fat cheque to a political party or be a party hack. The second chamber is a crucial part of our political system, with real legislative power. It cannot be right that people are effectively able to buy a seat at the highest level of politics.

“It is the founding principle of democracy that we should be able to choose those who govern us. Until we have an elected second chamber, as opposed to one full to the brim with favoured sons and daughters, we will not be getting the democracy we deserve."

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