MSP takes seat in the House of Lords
FORMER Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Nicol Stephen officially took his seat in the House of Lords yesterday.
The Aberdeen South MSP, who is stepping down from Holyrood in May, was asked to become Scotland’s newest peer by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in recognition of services to politics which date back to 1982.
Now known as Lord Step-hen, the former Scottish deputy first minister was flanked by fellow Lib Dems Lord Wallace of Tankerness and Lord Steel of Aikwood as he swore his allegiance to the Queen. The 50-year-old joins Labour’s ex-first minister Jack McConnell, known as Lord Glenscorrodale, as a member of the House of Lords.
Lord Stephen said joining the benches represented “a great opportunity” to continue to be involved in politics and carry on fighting for the interests of Aberdeen and the north-east.
Lord Stephen, a councillor and MP before being elected an MSP in 1999, has said he will help to reform the Lords, including a possible change of name. He added its traditions such as Black Rod could soon be a thing of the past.
Married to Caris, with whom he has four children, Lord Stephen stood down as Scottish Lib Dem leader in 2008 to spend more time with his family. He said his new job would not interfere with his private life as he will not be spending as much time away from home.