'Desperate' Tories flew in peer Andrew Lloyd Webber from New York to prop up government vote on tax credits

Chancellor George Osborne's plan to reduce tax credits was defeated by the House of Lords

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. 

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.

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.