The Welsh Peerage

Just heard on Radio 5 Live news that Peter Hain has been named in Parliament as the Government member who offered Peter Law a peerage if he did not stand last May. More later no doubt.

UPDATE BBC coverage here ,UTV here, ITV here, PA here.

As with so much in politics, I’m not alltogether sure that it matters if this is true or not. David Trimble commented on Sunday that Northern Ireland & Wales is probably Hain’s last Cabinet position, perhaps Plaid have just shifted the date of his Cabinet leaving party forward a few months.

  • Pete Baker

    No need to wait ’til later

    Hain denies MP peerage allegation

  • Keith M

    Another Minister in trouble? This is going to be very awkward for Hain but with Law’s demise, I doubt ig here’s a “smoking gun”.

  • Crataegus

    The context of the investigation into cash for peerages needs to be extended to include this accusation.

    Tonight’s election results will settle much. A very bad result and Tony goes until that happens difficult to sort out the Labour Party.

  • I’m glad Trimble shared his thoughts with us on this matter. I wonder what he has to say about peerages being offered to manifestly unsuitable types, in return for said coves giving said peerage-granting party leaders’ parties [hmmn, impressive punctuation, even if I do say so myself] dollops of wonga, and never admitting to it in public? Thank goodness that sort of thing could never happen in Norn Iron. Not least because, er, here Party donors don’t have to declare to the Electoral Commission their blatant interest . . .

  • Michael Shilliday

    I think you misread what I wrote about what Trimble said.

  • And I think you’re the middle monkey – the one with his hands in front of his face, determinedly muttering, “I’m-a seein nuthin, nuthin aye tells ya, nuff-fink”.

    But please, Ginger Handed Commandos, Turtle Volunteer Force, Dave’s Defenders, and all the rest of you who have been on ceasefire for, oh, roughly a year now – please, come out of the woodwork and join me in hoping for more thoughts from that quarter on peerages, and the fun business of recommending someone for the Lords.

    On an unrelated point . . . if the pressures of being a nobel laureate and world statesman (and the guy who hangs round Tesco’s in the afternoon, waiting for the bargains at the chilled meat counter) start taking up too much of DT’s time, and he voluntarily decides it’s in the best interests of Ulster, his Party, and, natch, Peace, to stand down from Stormont, what then? Any word on who’ll, in our corrupt, by-election free, logrolling numptyhouse, get the finger to take his place?

  • joeCanuck

    Postulate number 1:
    If you throw enough mud, (especially under parliamentary privilege), some of it will stick.

  • yerman

    Surely Trimble and Hain could have a nice chinwag on the issue. I’m sure David Ford would have plenty to add also given that it was him who Trimble tried to bribe out of running for election with the offer of a peerage.

  • Michael Shilliday

    George Savage ain’t it? I remember before nominations closed Jeffrey breifed the Lagan Valley management committee on proceedure “suggested” from “headquarters” which was list the names in order they were placed by the selection, which means that should Jeffrey resign his seat it would go to Jim Kirkpatrick, then Ivan Davis, then…..James Baird I think, maybe Jim Dillon. So with DT it would be George Savage then whoever else stood, Arnold Hatch maybe?

  • Michael Shilliday

    selection meeting that should be.

  • yerman

    I think the key word in your last post was “suggested” proceduce. This is the case for all Parties and not just a UUP issue – any Assembly Member can nominate who in the merry hell they like to go on their list.

    I suppose the convention in most parties is to put the defeated candidates on but should they decide that they dont really like them or whatever, then you could very easily have a list of family members.

    Case in point for the family members one: Didnt the late UUP MLA Tom Benson have his daughter at the top of his list as was revealed after his death. It was only after she passed the job over that Tom Hamilton got in. AFIK Ms Benson wasnt particularly political and certainly hadnt stood in the selection meeting.

    I presume the “suggeted” procedures from UUP HQ were an attempt to prevent this happening in the future.

  • Thanks Michael – I’m genuinely interested (and not just being a senselessly sarcastic tw*t, tho’, obviously, I am that too, always) in the issue of No by-elections in this grand wee place.

    I was under the impression that a sitting MLA had to nominate, in private 1 (or possibly 2) replacements, in the event of him vacating his seat for whatever reason. You seem to be be saying that it’s more like the Holyrood/Cardiff system, whereby the next appropriate person on the List is scooped up. If it is the latter, it’s still objectionable, but if it’s the former, then my self-righteous blethering switch is tripped again.

    [And this – my Prig switch has just been flicked (which costs more than you might think, if you have to pay for it in a seedy flat in Balmoral)- is exactly what I like about Slugger: you can learn stuff, without the endless of agony of having to type things into google and hit a button several times]

  • Sorry, typed that post too slowly (talking to Croatian arms dealers takes longer than you might think), and missed the 2 before mine. So it is the case that a sitting MLA can nominate whoever the heck he or she likes? Truly rotten, even by this grand wee place’s standards post the Agreement.

    Going back then to my original, admittedly half cut memory of first having this shabby procedure explained to me – one of the things that struck me was that, MLAs can change, without making it public, whoever it is they have designated as their non-elected successor.

    In which case, and assuming that for one reason or another Trimble might want to quit Stormont/public life over the next few months, can we be sure who is going to put into Stormont in his stead?

  • Michael Shilliday

    “I think the key word in your last post was “suggested” proceduce. This is the case for all Parties and not just a UUP issue – any Assembly Member can nominate who in the merry hell they like to go on their list. ”

    Oh I’m well aware of that – I was just relaying my memory of what Jeffrey told the Lagan Valley UUP he was doing (I stress my memory of what was said).

    I’m pretty sure that when a candidate hands in his nomination forms he must have a list of ten names as replacements, that list goes in a sealed envelope and is not opened until death/resignation. I dont think it can be amended. I didn’t know Benson had nominated his daughter, but its very possible, and I’d hazard a guess quite common if one were to have opportunity to see the list.

  • Karl Rove

    I seem to recall some excitement over the prospect of Duncan Shipley-Dalton resigning and allowing m’friend John Hunter through the hallowed portals of Stormont. I wonder at that point did Trimble consider the benefits of actually allowing the ELECTORS to choose their MLAs?

  • I just had to type “Yes98” to submit the last comment! Taunted by that bloody Agreement even now!

  • Michael Shilliday

    You’re both right that the system sucks, but I really did object to what the DUP did to the SDLP in Ballymena, it was just plain short sighted. What if the SDLP had done the same thing after Gerry Douglas died? Unionist representation in Newcastle would have disappeared. At least one could be a little more satisfied that a unionist would be replaced by a unionist and a nationalist by a nationalist in minority situations like Foyle and Lagan Valley.