Thu 22 October 2020

Lord Adonis spoke to Oliver Murphy about potentially becoming the first life peer to hand back his peerage to sit in the House of Commons.

Lord Andrew Adonis plans to run to become a Labour MP, Byline Times can reveal.

If elected in the next general election, Lord Adonis – who served in the New Labour governments of both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown – will become the first life peer to leave the House of Lords and join the House of Commons. 

The lord, whose official title is Baron Adonis of Camden Town, told Oliver Murphy: “I have put myself forward as a Labour candidate for Vauxhall… because I see us having this massive crisis of national leadership at the moment. It’s all hands on deck in this crisis situation that we are in.

“If my Labour colleagues want me to serve them, then I’ll be in the hurly burly of the House of Commons which… is very, very different from the sedate world of the House of Lords.”

Lord Adonis will be standing as a parliamentary candidate in Vauxhall, a safe Labour seat in south London, which has been held for 30 years by arch Eurosceptic Kate Hoey, who was a leading member of Nigel Farage’s Leave.EU campaign during the 2016 EU Referendum and is a friend of the Brexit Party’s chairman Richard Tice.

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Last year, she defied the Labour whip and stopped Theresa May’s Government from suffering an important commons defeat. Her constituency party passed a motion asking for the whip to be withdrawn from her so that she would be ineligible to stand again as a Labour Party parliamentary candidate. Hoey announced in July that she would be stepping down as an MP at the next general election.

Lord Adonis, a vocal and prominent Remain supporter who is calling for a second referendum on EU membership, will become the first ever life peer to hand back their peerage to sit in the Commons if he is elected. In the 1960s, hereditary peers Tony Benn and Sir Alec Douglas-Home renounced their titles to become MPs.

Lord Adonis was a Liberal Democrat councillor before joining the Labour Party in the 1990s. He worked in Tony Blair’s Number 10 policy unit in 1997 and was made a life peer in 2005, before becoming an influential education minister. Under Gordon Brown, he moved to the Transport brief until David Cameron formed a Coalition Government with the Lib Democrats. 

He served as a shadow minister under Ed Miliband but, in 2015, resigned the Labour Party whip to become a non-affiliated peer in the Lords. He was chairman of the National Infrastructure Committee (NIC) until 2017, when he quit because of the Conservative Party’s approach Brexit.

Lord Adonis stood unsuccessfully as a candidate in this year’s European Elections, in which Labour’s share of the vote declined because of the leadership’s ambiguity over its attitude to Europe.

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