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Martin Lewis has revealed how he was recently turned down for a seat in the House of Lords because he was ‘honest’ in an interview for a peerage.
The 50-year-old, the founder of the Money Saving Expert website, spoke of how his bid to become a crossbench peer was rejected ‘a couple of weeks ago’ by an appointments panel.
The consumer champion blamed his rejection on him being ‘open and transparent’ about how much time he would be able to devote to being in Parliament.
Mr Lewis described how, with a nine-year-old daughter, he would struggle with the mid-week evening sittings of the Lords.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Political Thinking with Nick Robinson programme, Mr Lewis said it was the second time he had been rejected for a seat in the Lords as an independent peer.
Martin Lewis described how, with a nine-year-old daughter, he would struggle with the mid-week evening sittings of the House of Lords
The founder of the Money Saving Expert website spoke of how his bid to become a crossbench peer was rejected ‘a couple of weeks ago’
‘I just got turned down again a couple of weeks ago, actually,’ he said, as he revealed the decision by the House of Lords Appointments Commission to again deny him a peerage.
‘I was much more annoyed the last time. I did this really silly thing.
‘I was honest in the interview. I had an interview and they talked about timings and I said – I always want to be open and transparent… most of the time that the Lords sits is about 3pm to 10pm on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.
‘I said to them ‘look, I need to be straight with you in terms of the hours I can give. I’m very busy with my job, but most importantly I have a nine-year-old daughter and until she’s 13, my most important job from 6.30pm until eight at night is to be with her and to put her to bed, maybe until she’s 12, whatever’.’
Mr Lewis outlined how he saw his role in the Lords as ‘learning for three to five years with limited input’ before ‘gradually over the next five to ten years’ devoting more time to Parliament and less to his other commitments.
He added how this was ‘a stumbling block’ for the Commission, but revealed they had ‘invited me to apply again in future’.
Mr Lewis also described how, when he received the rejection letter, he ‘breathed a sigh of relief because there’s a lot of pressure on at the moment’.
‘I thought maybe a couple of years [before reapplying] is probably more sensible,’ he said.
Mr Lewis, whose net worth is estimated at around £120m, married TV presenter Lara Lewington, 43, in 2009
Elsewhere in the interview, Mr Lewis told Nick Robinson he had not been ‘party political’ for ‘a long time now’, including over Brexit.
However, he revealed he had been a Liberal Democrat member until the age of 24 and had contemplated running to be an MP until his early thirties.
He also described Westminster’s adversarial politics as ‘abominable’ and in need of major reform to help the UK deal with future crises.
Anyone can nominate themselves for a place in the Lords or be nominated by others.
There are currently around 800 members of the Lords, making it the second-largest legislative chamber in the world behind the Chinese National People’s Congress.
Peers can claim up to £323 for each day they attend Parliament.
A spokesperson for the House of Lords Appointments Commission said: ‘Appointments are made based on how people can contribute to the House, but are not determined on the basis of caring or family circumstances.
‘It’s a very competitive process. We make very few appointments and consequently we have to turn down some very good candidates.’
Mr Lewis, whose net worth is estimated at around £120m, married TV presenter Lara Lewington, 43, in 2009 and they have one daughter together.