Former Prime Minister John Major rules out early entry to the Lords

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Former Prime Minister John Major said this morning that he is in no rush to accept a peerage and join the House of Lords when he retires from politics at the end of this Parliament.

Former Prime Minister John Major said this morning that he is in no rush to accept a peerage and join the House of Lords when he retires from politics at the end of this Parliament.

The former Conservative Party leader, who led his party into its 1997 electoral defeat, has already said he will not seek re-election. As a former prime minister, Major would traditionally be granted a life peerage entitling him to sit in the House of Lords after his retirement from the House of Commons.

But Major told BBC's Breakfast With Frost that he would like a break from politics and would turn down the offer of a peerage.

"I don't think one ever says no for ever, but I think it is probably unlikely rather than likely that I would accept an offer - were it to come - to go into the House of Lords immediately on leaving Parliament," Major said. "I think the answer would be 'No, I won't."'

Major's predecessor Margaret Thatcher accepted the title Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven shortly after leaving the Commons in 1992, while former Labour Prime Ministers Harold Wilson and Jim Callaghan accepted peerages immediately after retiring from the House of Commons.

But another former Tory Prime Minister Harold Macmillan declined a peerage on his retirement as an MP in 1964, waiting 20 years before becoming Earl of Stockton in 1984.

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