Ex N.Ireland leader among new British Lords

28th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Former Northern Ireland leader Ian Paisley was made a member of Britain's House of Lords on Friday, along with a string of former ministers and others.

Former Scotland Yard chief Sir Ian Blair, who was forced to resign after prolonged criticism, was also among those made members of the upper house of parliament.

Others included in the list, nominated at the time of a change of government after May 6 general elections, include former deputy premier John Prescott, and ministers John Reid, Des Browne and John Hutton.

Paisley, known as "Dr. No" for his long intransigence in dealings with Catholic Republicans in Northern Ireland, was nominated as a former first minister of the province and ex leader of the Democratic Unionists (DUP).

Blair, who was widely criticised over the fatal shooting of an innocent Brazilian in the wake of July 2005 suicide bombings and attempted attacks, was made a Lord as part of the dissolution list.

The elevation of Prescott to the House of Lords will raise some eyebrows, as he has long emphasised his working class roots, and said he would not accept a place in the upper chamber.

In all some 50 former ministers and dignitaries were named to the Lords, on the recommendation of former premier Gordon Brown and other party leaders, and approved by Queen Elizabeth II.

© 2010 AFP

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