Saatchi and Rogers are plum signings for upper chamber

New working peers: List spans glamorous names from business and public relations to loyal party workers and voices from ethnic minorities

Lifelong party workers, glamorous names from business, women, and prominent figures from ethnic minorities form the main themes behind the new working peers' list, chosen personally by the three main party leaders.

Alongside the likes of dames Joyce Anelay and Hazel Byford, tireless Tory servants, come the superstars of the advertising and architecture worlds, Maurice Saatchi and Sir Richard Rogers.

While Mr Saatchi's devotion to the Tory cause is well-known - as is that of his fellow media guru, Peter Gummer, also made a working lord - Sir Richard's allegiance to Labour has been more private. Undoubtedly a plum signing for New Labour, Sir Richard's growing prominence as a design and style icon will bring a flash of brilliance to the Upper Chamber.

The Tories' counterblast is to produce an equally major figure from retailing, Sir Ian Maclaurin, the guiding light behind Tesco's storming of the high street these past few years. Just as Sir Richard is credited with transforming many of the world's city centres, Sir Ian has spearheaded Tesco's introduction of glitzier, upmarket lines and new products.

The contrast between Labour's choice of women peers and that of the Tories could not be greater. While the two dames, Anelay and Byford, have remained close to the grass roots, the two new Labour baronesses, Meta Ramsay and Elizabeth Symons, have carved out high-profile careers in areas still dominated by men. Ms Ramsay rose to the top of the Foreign Office before resigning to advise John Smith, the late Labour leader; Ms Symons was the first woman to be appointed general secretary of the union for top civil servants - the First Division Association.

A redoubtable performer before Commons select committees and in negotiations with permanent secretaries, Ms Symons has established the FDA as a major influence on Whitehall policy and reforms.

In what could be seen as a sop to old Labour, one of its stalwarts, Larry Whitty, is ennobled by Tony Blair. The former general secretary of the party under Neil Kinnock and John Smith, he was responsible for guiding through many of their reforms before being effectively frozen out two years ago.

John Taylor, the black Tory candidate vilified by racists in the general election campaign at Cheltenham in 1992 gets his reward of a peerage from John Major. Since being defeated in Cheltenham, Mr Taylor, a barrister, has built a new career as a radio and television presenter.

He will face in the Lords the impressive figure of Swraj Paul, a multi- millionaire Indian businessman. Mr Paul, the founder of Caparo, the steel group, has spent much of his life trying to come to terms with the death from leukaemia of his daughter Ambika, aged five. He gave pounds 1m to London Zoo to rebuild the children's zoo in her honour.

A close friend of Gordon Brown, Mr Paul will be a considerable economic influence, as will his fellow new Labour peer, David Currie, of the London Business School. Professor Currie's recent specialisation of competition regulation will be a major plank in any new Labour administration's economic mandate.

Perhaps the most influential voice from any side, however, will be that of John Alderdice, head of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland. Denied a seat at Westminster by traditional sectarian voting loyalties, his neutral Alliance Party will at last be heard centre-stage. Dr Alderdice will take the Liberal Democrat whip on issues other than Ulster.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Supporting role: at the Supreme Court, Rhodes was accompanied by a famous friend, the actor Benedict Cumberbatch
booksPianist James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to stop the injunction of his memoirs
Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan
filmDheepan, film review
Sport
Steven Gerrard scores for Liverpool
sport
Arts and Entertainment
Bob Dylan
art
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?