‘If a new peer is a special adviser, they will be able to participate in the division lobbies but not contribute to debates,’ said Baroness Stowell in her statement to the Lords Evidence. Many assume that three new special adviser peers – Kate Fall, the Prime Minister’s deputy chief of staff; Phillipa Stroud, special adviser at the Department for Work and Pensions; and Simone Finn, special adviser to Lord Maude, Minister for Trade and Investment – might actually continue in their roles as well as being members of the House of Lords. Stowell prefaced her statement by saying that ‘there is a convention’ for this combination of roles. This left constitutional minds racking their brains to recall the precedent on which it was based. In fact, there are several previous examples. For example, in 2001, Baroness Morgan continued to serve Tony Blair as a special adviser after she was made a peer. Lord Hart of Chiltern was appointed a peer in 2004 but did not speak until 2007 – after he had ceased to be a special adviser to the Lord Chancellor. Lord Hart says that he was told that it might be inappropriate for him to speak by the […]

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