4th Baron Ravensdale given seat in Parliament for life, in latest sham ‘by-election’

Posted on the 27th March 2019

  • Statement from the Electoral Reform Society for immediate release, 28th March 2019
  • Contact: Jon Narcross, Communication Officer, 07794728820 or jon.narcross@electoral-reform.org.uk

Daniel Mosley, the 4th Baron Ravensdale, has won a vote on British laws for life in the latest hereditary peer ‘by-election’. He won just 18 votes out of a total of 28 cast [1].

Lord Ravensdale is the fourth member of his family to hold the Ravensdale peerage which was awarded to Lord Curzon in 1911. He is the great grandson of Oswald Mosley.

In his election statement Lord Ravensdale [2] – declared himself a ‘political independent’ and nuclear projects manager.

At 36, Ravensdale will become the youngest peer sitting in the House of Lords and could potentially sit in the house for the next half a century.

A bill attempting to end the archaic practice of electing hereditary peers by Lord Grocott was talked out of the Lords earlier this month – blocked by dozens of wrecking amendments tabled by a handful of hereditary peers to stop the reforms from being heard.

Willie Sullivan, Senior Director of the Electoral Reform Society, said:

“Given his relative youth by Lords standards, the 4th Baron Ravensdale is likely to sit in the House of Lords for decades to come. He’ll be able to claim his £305-tax-free expenses a day with no public accountability. The word outrageous doesn’t come close.

“While elected MPs seize control of the Brexit debate, let’s not forget that whatever happens, an unelected clique will continue to sway our laws in the House of Lords. Today’s hereditary ‘by-election’ is a mockery of democracy, with aristocrats continuing to rule.

“Lord Ravensdale, takes his seat following a so-called by-election that saw him receive just 18 votes from the 28 votes cast. In doing so he takes up a lifetime appointment to shape our laws and will have huge sway over the legislation and issues that affect our country. The average number of votes for a by-election in the House of Commons is 28,823 – a thousand times more than the 28 cast in this contest.

“This so-called by-election must be the last – it’s time politicians took the steps needed to abolish this absurd practice and give the public a say over who sits in our second chamber.

“One thing unites this country right now: disdain for a broken politics in Parliament. Reform of the Lords is long overdue. It is time for a fairly-elected second chamber to end the farce of unaccountable Lords. This is essential for the public’s faith in our democracy and its institutions.”



In the 2010-2015 parliament, £360,000 was claimed by peers in years they failed to vote once, while 109 peers failed to speak at all in the 2016/17 session. Sixty-three of those claimed expenses – claiming a total of £1,095,701. 33 peers claimed nearly half a million pounds between them while failing to speak, table a written question or serve on a committee in 2016/17.

ERS analysis also shows that nearly 80 percent of Conservative peers didn’t once vote against the government in 2016/17. Of the Labour peers who voted, 50 percent voted against the government more than 90 percent of the time. And non-partisan crossbenchers often don’t turn up – over 40 percent voted fewer than 10 times last year: leaving decisions in the hands of the party whips.

[1] See the full by-election results: https://www.parliament.uk/documents/lords-information-office/2019/Result-by-election-27-03-19.pdf

[2] https://www.parliament.uk/documents/lords-information-office/2019/Arrangements-by-election-11-03-19.pdf

In his manifesto he stated:

“I am a chartered engineer with extensive experience of international defence and nuclear
energy programmes. Now a project director for a leading engineering consultancy firm, I manage teams to deliver reactor engineering projects for a major nuclear client.
Additional expertise in digital transformation and defence procurement.
A political independent, I would champion the Midlands and commit to regular attendance
alongside my consultancy work; benefitting the House by maintaining my expert knowledge of engineering and industry.”

He stood unsuccessfully last year: https://inews.co.uk/news/politics/candidates-elected-hereditary-peers/

Read the ERS’ most recent report on the House of Lords: https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/latest-news-and-research/publications/the-high-cost-of-small-change/

Read the ERS’ briefing on hereditary peer by-elections: https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/latest-news-and-research/parliamentary-briefings/hereditary-peers-by-elections-briefing-january-2019/


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