Lord Trefgarne, a Conservative Hereditary Peer who sits as a Hereditary Peer in the House of Lords for 50 years spoke on BBC Radio 4’s World at One on Tuesday 26 June 2012 on the topic of proposed Lords reforms..
Since 2001 he has
- voted against more EU integration
- strongly against equal gay rights
- against the hunting ban
- moderate laws to stop climate change
- moderately in favour of greater autonomy for schools
Although he has been absent on many occasions when votes on important issues were being taken. His voting behaviour is average for the Lords : voted in 35.61% of votes.
Q: Do you feel you have a right to be in the House of Lords?
LT: I am part of the House of Lords because the Letters Patent issued to my late father by His late Majesty King George VI to my father and his heirs and successors lawfully forgotten for evermore will come to this House including my son George if he so chooses.
Q: But do you think that right? Do you think it unfair?
LT: No I think hereditary peers make a very valuable contribution to the governance of our nation in the way that its presently constituted.
Q: But in the back of your mind I wonder if you see the point of view of people who say it’s just unfair that you were born into this like …
LT:I don’t for a moment accept the word unfair. I think I have been asked to perform a duty which I am proud to do.
Q: So it doesn’t cross your mind?
LT: No, certainly not.
Q: So what do you think when hear those arguments?
LT: I think they don’t understand, me and others like me and most hereditaries I imagine think as I think we are here to do our duty. I am very reluctant to suggest that I am somehow better than other people of course I’m not, I’m an ordinary person but the Almighty decided that I was to have a certain duty imposed upon me. It never for one moment crossed my mind to disclaim the title and do something else.
And so he went on complaining about the ‘huge’ amount of parliamentary time which would be taken up with reform of the Lords – as if democracy was not worth the time and effort.
What is he famous for?
This Tory Peer has been named as trying to influence the Scottish government to free Abdelbaset al-Megrahi because of the threat to British business interests were Megrahi to die in prison here.
Trefgarne is also said to have asked Gaddafi’s son Saif, now in prison awaiting trial, to help him recover £1 million for fees he maintains were due him for his efforts to have Megrahi released from jail in Scotland.