Tributes paid to leader of Lords after resignation

Peers paid tribute yesterday to Lord Strathclyde who resigned on Monday as leader of the House of Lords after 25 years on the Conservative front bench.

Peers paid tribute yesterday to Lord Strathclyde who resigned on Monday as leader of the House of Lords after 25 years on the Conservative front bench.

Labour leader in the Lords, Baroness Royall of Blaisdon, said Lord Strathclyde had always been a “highly capable political operator”. She added: “He has ­always been a straight dealer and a man of his word.”

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The deputy Lords leader and leader of the Liberal Democrats in the Lords, Lord McNally, said Lord Strathclyde stepped down with the thanks, respect and ­affection of the whole House.

His successor as Lords Leader, Lord Hill of Oareford, said Lord Strathclyde steered the House with great skill through some “testing times” in coalition ­government.

Lord McNally made light of the alleged party differences, saying there had been “outrageous” suggestions that Lord Strathclyde could “no longer tolerate working with the Liberal Democrats”.

To laughter, he added: “There have been no more harmonious meetings than when Tom Strathclyde has come to give the Lib Dems one of his regular pep-talks. The truth is we have worked closely together for the last eight years.”

Lord McNally said the leader of the Lords had two roles – to lead his party and get government business through the House as well as being the guardian of members’ interests and the House as a whole.

“I believe Lord Strathclyde has fulfilled that second role with consummate skill.”

He told Lord Hill: “All I can say to you is, the best of luck.”

Lord Laming, convener of the independent crossbench peers, hailed Lord Strathclyde as an “outstanding public servant” who had acted in the best interests of the whole House.

Lord Hill, rising to cheers from all sides of the House, paid tribute to Lord Strathclyde’s “great dedication” to the House and “remarkable quarter ­century” of frontbench service.

“His immense experience, knowledge of and loyalty to this House have been of huge benefit to us all,” he said.