Someone just joined the House of Lords through the votes of 16 aristocrats

And we know next to nothing about him.

The results are in for the UK’s most exclusive (well, exclusionary) election – a vote to pick Parliament’s next hereditary peer. It’s so exclusive that we can’t find a picture of the winner.

There were 10 candidates in this Crossbench group by-election (and 31 eligible voters) – although one candidate dropped out.

The by-election was called following the retirement of Lord Walpole, with his replacement selected by hereditary peers of the Crossbench group.

Some background – the 1999 House of Lords Act removed all but 90 of the hereditary peers (and kept holders of the offices of Earl Marshall and Lord Great Chamberlain) – meaning 92 guaranteed aristocrats in Parliament in total.

Ever since, when one dies, there’s a ‘by-election’ to replace that peer. The only people eligible to vote are existing hereditary peers who sit in that group.

And today, the results of this latest democratic wonder/travesty came in. We know very little about the winner.

Nor it seems does the House of Lords itself.

A spokesperson for the Lords told me: “We don’t have any information on him,” apart from what was in his 46-word application.

Nor do they have contact details about him which they can give out – he won’t take his seat until September given that recess starts tomorrow.

Nonetheless, welcome to the 12th Baron Vaux of Harrowden (you can read all about the title here). He won a landslide with 16 out of the 27 votes. Unfortunately, there’s very little information about him online.

What we do know is that his aristocratic name was created was 1523 – and at the age of 52, he’s spritely compared to most peers.

Educated at Ampleforth College (annual boarding fees in 2017 – £32,392), Richard Hubert Gordon Gilbey is married and has two children. Baron Vaux is a businessman, a chartered accountant and was a runner up in the last crossbench by-election. And according to Companies House, he’s had a senior role in 13 companies.

His application for the Lords read: “For 15 years held senior positions in the technology sector, covering public sector, education and financial services, latterly as global head of corporate development for a $5bn US group. Interests in renewable energy, farming and Scotland. I am able to and would intend to contribute fully.”

We hope to learn more about this person who will get a vote on our laws for the rest of his life.

Josiah Mortimer is Editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter here.

4 Responses to “Someone just joined the House of Lords through the votes of 16 aristocrats”

  1. Susan Calvo

    I think it is disgraceful, that the only people eligible to vote a new peer in are existing hereditary peers. And, this person, that all of the general public in UK knows absolutely nothing about, gets a vote on our laws for the rest of his life. . We have no idea what his views are. He gains this position Not because his is necessarily good for this job, but just because of Upper Class heritage. It reeks…. It is a ‘closed shop’…. and there is nothing democratic about that….

  2. Will

    If I could find out who he is and was able to slap his face gently with a glove, do you think he would challenge me to a duel? I do love living in the middle ages.

  3. greg

    It’s time to completely remove the occupants of this retirement home and replace them with an elected second chamber – for revision and guidance of our would be laws.

  4. Jay ginn

    Ampleforth? He was probably raised as a Catholic. No problem in itself , as everyone is entitled to their beliefs.
    The problem arises when a person with ingrained religious beliefs gets to influence policy that affects the rest of us. Catholics in the House of Lords have tried to restrict other peoples rights to access contraception , abortion,, divorce, or to express their sexual orientation. Its possible that Tony Blair’s certainty that he was right to invade Iraq stemmed from his Catholic beliefs, (through some complex moral gymnastics!).

    There can be no doubt the Lords should be abolished, replaced by a much smaller Scrutiny committee of elected MPs.

Leave a Reply