David Cameron jokes wife is ‘furious’ at his new title as he takes seat in Lords


Foreign Secretary David Cameron has joked that his wife is “furious” that he has accepted a new title as he takes his seat in the House of Lords.

The former prime minister will now be known as Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton after his official introduction on Monday, the name reflecting his long-held ties to the Cotswolds town in his former constituency, Witney.

Speaking at the Global Food Security Summit, Lord Cameron said: “I’ve had an extraordinary day going to the House of Lords, taking the oath and all the rest of it.

It was announced last week that he had been elevated to the Lords as a life peer to allow him to serve in Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Cabinet after he resigned as an MP in 2016.

Lord Cameron previously sat in the Commons for 15 years, including five years as leader of the opposition and six years as prime minister.

He was supported in his introduction ceremony by Lord True, the Leader of the House of Lords, and Baroness Williams of Trafford, the chief whip in the Lords.

Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton
Lord Cameron wore the traditional scarlet robes for the short ceremony (House of Lords/UK Parliament/PA)

Lord Cameron, 57, wore the traditional scarlet robes for the short ceremony as he swore the oath of allegiance to the King.

The red benches of the upper chamber were more full than usual, with people also sitting on the stairs and on the step at the foot of the throne.

They included Lord Pickles, who served in the Cameron government.

Lord Cameron read the traditional oath: “I, David, Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton, do swear by almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to his majesty King Charles, his heirs and successors, according to law, so help me God.”

Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton
Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton during his official introduction to the upper chamber (UK Parliament/PA)

Peers could be heard calling out to welcome him to the chamber as he arrived.

But Lord Cameron’s appointment was not universally welcomed, with the Liberal Democrats writing to the Prime Minister’s ethics adviser urging him to launch an investigation into the new foreign secretary’s appointment.

Lib Dem chief whip Wendy Chamberlain cited Lord Cameron’s past work for investment firm Greensill Capital, for which he privately lobbied ministers in an attempt to win access to an emergency coronavirus loan scheme.

Ms Chamberlain said: “We need urgent clarity over David Cameron’s financial interests, which could lead to serious conflicts of interest while he represents the UK on the world stage.

“If he was serious about acting with integrity, Rishi Sunak would address these concerns by asking his ethics adviser to launch a full investigation into Cameron’s appointment.

“David Cameron has serious questions to answer over whether he can act impartially in the best interests of the British people. His judgment and integrity have all been questioned in recent years and for good reason.”

Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton
Lord Cameron joked his wife is ‘furious’ about his new title (Andy Bailey/UK Parliament/PA credit)

Lord McFall of Alcluith said ministers in the Lords often face a tougher grilling than those in the Commons.

He said: “Some suggest that ministers get an easy ride in the House of Lords. Let me tell you nothing could be further from the truth.

“One former minister who served in both Houses told me the experience of being questioned by peers is much more daunting.

“In the Lords, grillings are administered by former secretaries of state and leaders of the civil service, judges, ambassadors, European commissioners, ex-heads of bodies like Nato or the Joint Intelligence Committee.

“These are people who know their subjects intimately and can cut straight to the nub of any issue.”


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