Lord Frost‘s fans think of him as the hard-nosed negotiator who took the fight to Brussels over Brexit and emerged victorious, ish.
Now, “Frosty the no man” has his sights set on an even more daunting task – a date at the ballot box with the British public.
Lord Frost, who is due to deliver a speech this week at the National Conservatism Conference, announced on Sunday that he would be resigning from his peerage to stand for the Conservative Party at the next election.
The former Brexit minister under Boris Johnson confirmed that party officials had accepted his bid to join the party’s list of candidates.
He said in a statement: “I am grateful to the party authorities for accepting my application as a potential Conservative candidate for the House of Commons, the centre of our national political life. I have not yet applied for any seat and am considering my next steps.
“Meanwhile I look forward to campaigning for the party and for Conservative principles in the months to come,” he added.
However, this raises questions about the ease with which Lord Frost could revoke his life peerage.
Prior to 2014, the Peerage Act of 1963 only allowed hereditary peers to renounce their titles. Tony Benn was the first MP to renounce his peerage on the very day the Act was passed, defiantly claiming: “I am the first man in history who, by Act of Parliament, is prevented from receiving a hereditary peerage. I am statutorily immunised.”
Within the year, Lord Home and Lord Hailsham had also renounced their peerages in their attempts to replace the outgoing Harold Macmillan as PM.
This was until the House of Lords Reform Act 2014, which allowed life peers to also resign or retire from the Lords. It has been used 165 times, though never in order to move to the Commons. Lord Frost would be the first.
Should Lord Frost’s resignation from the Lords go smoothly, there is speculation that he is likely to stand in a Tory safe seat. Conveniently, Pauline Latham, MP for Mid Derbyshire, is standing down at the next election with a 15,000 vote majority and, given that Lord Frost is a Derby lad himself, this could represent something of a homecoming.
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