Andrew Lloyd Webber reportedly flew in first class from New York on Monday in an ultimately pointless attempt to bolster the government’s numbers in the House of Lords ahead of the tax credits vote.
Lloyd Webber, worth an estimated £650 million, was recorded as voting against Baroness Hollis's motion to delay the bill for three years.
I hear Tory whips even persuaded Lord Lloyd Webber to fly back from New York for tonight's #taxcredits vote. Desperate, a touch.— Tom Newton Dunn (@tnewtondunn) October 26, 2015
And this appears to be Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber voting against the Labour Hollis amendment on tax credits: pic.twitter.com/jGkB2Nzsmu— Faisal Islam (@faisalislam) October 26, 2015
It was claimed that Lloyd Webber, ennobled as a life peer in 1997 and who last voted in 2013 for the same sex marriage bill, flew first class back to London in time for the crucial vote on the Chancellor’s tax credit reductions.
A spokesperson for Lloyd Webber said the peer had travelled to London "at his own expense to attend the opening night of Cats".
"He voted last night because he feels that it is important for democracy that the House of Lords should not override decisions made by the elected House of Commons," the spokesperson told The Independent.
Social media users were quick to condemn his actions, with Andrew Lloyd Webber trending in the south of England last night.
Look at this picture of Baroness Campbell. Then picture Tory Andrew Lloyd Webber flying in from NY to vote against https://t.co/vC1LurVK9G— Joe Public (@jpublik) October 27, 2015
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Flying first-class across the world to prevent money reaching lower income workers. Stay classy, bro. #taxcredits— Ioan Marc Jones (@ioanmarcjones) October 26, 2015
multi-millionaire Andrew Lloyd Webber flies back from New York to vote in Lords for #taxcredit cuts. Can anyone see anything wrong with that— Brophy Bitter (@mark_brophy) October 26, 2015
The respect I had for Andrew Lloyd Webber has just dropped as fast as the chandelier did in Phantom. #taxcredits— Sophie (@SophieLomax) October 26, 2015
Millionaire Lord, Andrew Lloyd Webber flew back from New York especially to vote for tax credit cuts. What a guy!— The Fourth Crow (@TheStoneyCrow) October 27, 2015
Lloyd Webber has been a long-running Conservative supporter. In 2009 he criticised the Labour party’s introduction of a 50 per cent rate of income tax on the UK’s top earners, claiming it would encouraged talented individuals to leave.
George Osborne’s measure failure to pass and was rejected by the seated peers on Monday night, by 307 to 277 votes. The proposal was savaged by peers from across the political spectrum, with perhaps the most emotive speech coming from Baroness Hollis.