ANNA MIKHAILOVA: Arise, Lord Lebedev of Moscow! (All he needs now is for the Kremlin to sign off the title)
- Evgeny Lebedev was awarded a life peerage by Boris Johnson in the summer
- Newspaper publisher flummoxed peers by requesting to have ‘Moscow’ in title
- Before Lebedev can take his place at the Lords, Kremlin has to sign off the title
The introduction of society’s favourite son of an ex-KGB spy into our revered second Chamber has met an unexpected delay.
Newspaper publisher Evgeny Lebedev, awarded a life peerage by Boris Johnson in July, flummoxed peers by requesting to have ‘Moscow’ in his title.
All members of the Lords must have a ‘territorial designation’ linking them to at least one location.
Newspaper publisher Evgeny Lebedev, (pictured) awarded a life peerage by Boris Johnson in July, has requested to have ‘Moscow’ in his title
While it is highly unusual, peers can request a foreign location. But here’s the rub – the College of Arms, a Royal corporation that keeps the Roll of the Peerage, must make a formal request to the government of the country in question.
So before Lebedev can take his place at the Lords, the Kremlin has to sign off the title.
The idea of waiting for a green light from the country more familiar with its reds has not deterred Lebedev, who is known for his extravagant and particular tastes.
In his London office he reportedly keeps a ‘library’ of scented oils.
Evgeny Lebedev, (right) was awarded a life peerage by Boris Johnson (left) in July and while it is highly unusual, peers can request a foreign location
Lord Lebedev of Hampton and Moscow, will soon be donning his robes to sit in the House of Lords
His idea of a trip to the pub (in his Jaguar car) involves buying one with thespian Sir Ian McKellen.
Homes include Stud House, in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace, and a Tuscan villa popular with politicians of all persuasions.
Mail on Sunday readers of course know he doesn’t shy away from his Russian roots – having recently written of his pride in becoming the first Russian peer and accused critics of casual racism.
So, Lord Lebedev of Hampton and Moscow, prepare to don your ermine robes. Or does he have his eye on a bearskin instead?
So Dr Liam Fox’s bid to run the World Trade Organisation ended prematurely
Thankfully the former Tory International Trade Secretary can console himself with the ‘lifetime award’ bestowed on him by the 48 Group Club – the pro-China organisation accused of ‘grooming’ the British elite and which sparked calls from MPs to tighten lobbying laws.
Chris Whitty’s weekly Cabinet appearance has prompted concern from Tory MPs that Matt Hancock and Michael Gove are ‘captured’ by the chief medical officer’s Rasputin-like grip.
Wait till they find out he is now offering additional pre-Cabinet briefings for Ministers who really want to follow the science.
Unite, the union quick to call out firms who silence workers, won’t say how many gagging orders it asked its own staff to sign. Whistleblowers welcome….
Anti-gambling MP Carolyn Harris, (pictured) popped into one inside a casino to celebrate her 60th birthday, not long after telling radio listeners that gambling firms ‘groom’ children
Of all the steak joints in all the towns in all the world to choose, anti-gambling MP Carolyn Harris, left, popped into one inside a casino to celebrate her 60th birthday, not long after telling radio listeners that gambling firms ‘groom’ children.
Sir Keir Starmer’s parliamentary private secretary and a group of his advisers tucked into juicy steaks at the Hippodrome in London’s Leicester Square as owner and Tory donor Simon Thomas appeared to personally wish Harris a happy birthday.
Thomas, like Sir Keir, is concerned about the effect of the 10pm curfew, so much so he tells me his Tory donations are now ‘on hold’.
Meanwhile, the Labour leader’s coffers have taken a hit after the unions cut funding following his drift to the Right.
Days after the trip to the steak house, Sir Keir hardened his rhetoric, calling for the Government to ‘reform’ the curfew and release the evidence for it. So far, so good for Thomas.
Harris assures me the group paid its own bill. But I’m left wondering if, for the casino boss and the Labour leader, this is the start of a beautiful friendship.