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Former MP Austin takes seat in Lords

By Peter Madeley | Dudley | Politics | Published: | Last Updated:

Former Dudley North MP Ian Austin has taken his seat in the House of Lords.

Lord Austin of Dudley

Lord Austin of Dudley, who will sit as a non-affiliated member on the red benches, was accompanied by Labour peers Lord Mendelsohn and Lord Knight of Weymouth as he swore the oath of allegiance to the Queen.

He was among a number of ex-Labour MPs who were critical of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to be appointed to the upper house.

Lord Austin said: “It’s a huge privilege and a great honour for a kid from Dudley to end up in the House of Lords and I’ll be using this platform to speak up for people in places like the Black Country.

"I’ll be campaigning for better opportunities for people in communities like ours who haven’t had a fair crack of the whip. I want to focus on education and foreign affairs and I’ll be speaking up for decency in politics, for mainstream, moderate values as I always have."

Lord Austin, who is chair of campaign group Mainstream UK, quit Labour in February 2019 in response to a "culture of extremism, anti-Semitism and intolerance" under Mr Corbyn.

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The former Minister then stepped down ahead of December's general election and urged voters to support the Conservatives.

Also joining the Lords was Dame Helena Morrissey, who established the 30% Club to campaign for more female representation on company boards.

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Baroness Morrissey will sit on the Conservative benches.

As well as being head of personal investing at Legal & General Investment Management, the 54-year-old Cambridge graduate is an executive member of the Financial Services Trade and Investment Board (FSTIB) and a fellow of Eton College.

She was supported by Labour peer and 30% Club co-founder Baroness Goudie and Tory former chancellor Lord Lamont of Lerwick as she swore the oath of allegiance during the short introduction ceremony.

Mr Austin's old Labour colleagues Frank Field, Kate Hoey, Gisela Stuart and John Woodcock have also been given peerages.

Peter Madeley

By Peter Madeley
@P_Madeley_Star

Political Editor for the Express & Star. Responsible for local and national political stories, opinion, comment and analysis.

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