Peerage announced for retired MP Sir Alan

Sir Alan Beith
Sir Alan Beith

Sir Alan Beith, MP for Berwick for more than 40 years until he retired at this year’s General Election, is to receive a peerage.

The peerage was announced in the Prime Minister’s Dissolution Honours List today. A formal announcement is awaited on his new title.

Sir Alan said: “I regard it as a great honour to have the opportunity of serving in the House of Lords and continuing to speak up for the North East.

“I am fully committed to Lords reform so that we have a predominantly elected second chamber representing the nations and regions of the UK.

“This was blocked by the combined efforts of Labour and Conservatives in the last parliament, but in the meantime it is important that our existing second chamber continues to do its valuable job and reflects the full range of opinions from around the UK.”

North East Liberal Democrats regional chairman Ian Jones said: “We congratulate Sir Alan Beith on his peerage announced today. He has given excellent service to Berwick constituency and the North East for over 40 years. Our region will be well served by having his experience and wisdom representing its interests in the Lords.

“He is a true voice of Liberalism, and has long received cross-party respect for his integrity and old-fashioned courtesy, for his commitment to his constituency and to rural causes, and for his expertise on justice and constitutional affairs.”

First elected in a by-election in 1973, Sir Alan served a total of 42 years as member for Berwick, becoming chief whip and subsequently deputy leader and of the Liberal Party.

He became deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats after the 1992 General Election, a role which he held until 2003, in addition to serving as the party’s frontbench Treasury and later Home Affairs spokesman.

He also served as chairman of the Justice Select Committee and the Liaison Committee which oversees the work of all select committees.

He is married to Diana, who herself became a peer as Baroness Maddock in 2008.