House of Lords Act 1999
The House of Lords Act 1999 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, given Royal Assent on 11 November 1999. The Act reformed the House of one of the chambers of Parliament. For centuries, the House of Lords had included several hundred members. However, as part of a compromise, the Act did permit ninety-two hereditary peers to remain in the House on an interim basis. Another ten were created life peers to enable them to remain in the House; the Act decreased the membership of the House from 1,330 in October 1999 to 669 in March 2000. As another result of the Act, the majority of the Lords were now life peers, whose numbers had been increasing since the Life Peerages Act 1958; as of August 2017, there were 802 members of the House of Lords, of whom 26 were senior Church of England bishops, whose representation in the House is governed by the Bishoprics Act 1878. Prior to the 16th century, the Lords was the stronger of the two houses of Parliament. A process of gradual developments combined with such moments of crisis as the English Civil Wars transferred the political control of England, first from the Crown to the House of Lords and to the House of Commons.
The rising wealth of the Commons allowed it to wage two civil wars, dethrone two kings, reduce the power of the Lords. Prior to the House of Lords Act 1999, the power of the Lords had been diminished by the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 which stripped the Lords of the ability to block, or veto, adoption of most bills. Furthermore, the Commons has absolute power. After eighteen years of Conservative rule, the Labour party led by Tony Blair won a landslide victory at the 1997 general election, in the process inflicting the biggest defeat for the Conservatives since 1832; the Labour Party had for years endorsed abolition of the unelected House of Lords in its election platforms, though since 1992 this had changed to a policy of reforming the House instead. During the 20th century and Labour governments proposed many bills that were opposed by the House of Lords, dominated by Conservatives since the 1890s, leading to delay and, where proposed before elections, their dropping from the legislative agenda.
In the first year of the Blair government, the Lords passed back Government bills 38 times. The rejection considered the most contentious was of the European Elections Bill, against which the Lords voted five times. Blair stated that the Conservatives were using the hereditary peers to "frustrate" and "overturn the will of the democratically elected House of Commons". Here Blair found an opportunity to implement one of Labour's campaign promises. On 24 November 1998, in opening the second session of Parliament, the Queen delivered her annual Speech from the Throne. In it, she suggested; these remarks were followed by shouts of "Hear! Hear!" from supportive Labour Members of Parliament, by similar shouts of "Shame! Shame!" from Conservative peers. The House of Lords Bill was expected to face a tough fight in the House of Lords. Several Lords threatened to disrupt the Government's other bills if they continued with the plan to abolish the hereditaries' right to sit in the House of Lords; the Earl of Onslow, for instance, said, "I'm happy to force a division on each and every clause of the Scotland Bill.
Each division takes 20 minutes and there are more than 270 clauses." Lords had plenty of other means by. Lord Randall of St Budeaux put forward the idea of phasing out the hereditary peers by disqualifying their heirs. Baroness Jay of Paddington reminded the House that under the Salisbury Convention they could not block the bill. In order to convince some peers to vote for reform, Tony Blair announced that he would compromise by allowing a number of hereditary peers to remain in the House of Lords on an interim basis. On 2 December 1998, the Conservative Leader of the Opposition, William Hague, rose in the House of Commons to attack Blair's plans, he suggested that Blair's changes indicated his lack of principles, claiming that Blair wanted to turn the House of Lords into a "House of Cronies". Hague further suggested that the Conservative Party would never agree to such constitutional reforms that were "based on no comprehensive plan or principle." Hague's remarks backfired when Blair revealed that the Conservative Party in the House of Lords, rather than oppose his reforms, would support them, that he had done a secret deal with the Conservative leader in the House of Lords, Viscount Cranborne.
Hague removed Cranborne from office, but, in protest, several Conservative Lords who held front-bench positions resigned. On 19 January 1999, the Leader of the House of Commons, Margaret Beckett, introduced the House of Lords Bill into the House of Commons; the House of Commons passed the bill by a vote of 340 to 132 on 16 March. The next day it was presented to the House of Lords. One significant amendment made to the Bill was the so-called Weatherill Amendment, named for the Lord Weatherill, the former Speaker of the House of Commons; the Weatherill Amendment put into place the deal agreed to by the Prime Minister and Viscount Cranborne, allowed 92 hereditary peers to remain members of the House of Lords. Several controversies relating to the technicalities of the
Anne Boleyn was Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 as the second wife of King Henry VIII. Henry's marriage to her, her execution by beheading, made her a key figure in the political and religious upheaval, the start of the English Reformation. Anne was the daughter of Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire, his wife, Lady Elizabeth Howard, was educated in the Netherlands and France as a maid of honour to Queen Claude of France. Anne returned to England in early 1522, to marry 9th Earl of Ormond. Early in 1523 Anne was secretly betrothed to Henry Percy, son of the 5th Earl of Northumberland, but the betrothal was broken off when Percy's father refused to support their engagement. Cardinal Wolsey refused the match in January 1524 and Anne was sent back home to Hever Castle. In February or March 1526, Henry VIII began his pursuit of Anne, she resisted his attempts to seduce her, refusing to become his mistress, which her sister Mary had been. It soon became the one absorbing object of Henry's desires to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon so he would be free to marry Anne.
When it became clear that Pope Clement VII would not annul the marriage, the breaking of the Catholic Church's power in England began. In 1532, Henry granted Anne the Marquessate of Pembroke. Henry and Anne formally married on 25 January 1533, after a secret wedding on 14 November 1532. On 23 May 1533, newly appointed Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer declared Henry and Catherine's marriage null and void. Shortly afterwards, the Pope decreed sentences of excommunication against Cranmer; as a result of this marriage and these excommunications, the first break between the Church of England and Rome took place and the Church of England was brought under the King's control. Anne was crowned Queen of England on 1 June 1533. On 7 September, she gave birth to the future Queen Elizabeth I. Henry was disappointed to have a daughter rather than a son but hoped a son would follow and professed to love Elizabeth. Anne subsequently had three miscarriages, by March 1536, Henry was courting Jane Seymour.
In order to marry Jane Seymour, Henry had to find reasons to end the marriage to Anne. Henry VIII had Anne investigated for high treason in April 1536. On 2 May she was arrested and sent to the Tower of London, where she was tried before a jury of peers – which included Henry Percy, her former betrothed, her own uncle, Thomas Howard – and found guilty on 15 May, she was beheaded four days later. Modern historians view the charges against her, which included adultery and plotting to kill the king, as unconvincing; some say that Anne was accused of witchcraft but the indictments make no mention of this charge. After the coronation of her daughter, Anne was venerated as a martyr and heroine of the English Reformation through the works of John Foxe. Over the centuries, she has inspired, or been mentioned, in many artistic and cultural works and thereby retained her hold on the popular imagination, she has been called "the most influential and important queen consort England has had", as she provided the occasion for Henry VIII to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon and declare the English church's independence from Rome.
Anne was the daughter of Thomas Boleyn Earl of Wiltshire and Earl of Ormond, his wife, Lady Elizabeth Howard, daughter of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk. Thomas Boleyn was a well respected diplomat with a gift for languages. Anne and her siblings grew up at Hever Castle in Kent. However, the siblings were born in Norfolk at the Boleyn home at Blickling. A lack of parish records from the period has made it impossible to establish Anne's date of birth. Contemporary evidence is contradictory, with several dates having been put forward by various historians. An Italian, writing in 1600, suggested that she had been born in 1499, while Sir Thomas More's son-in-law, William Roper, indicated a much date of 1512, her birth was most sometime between 1501 and 1507. As with Anne herself, it is uncertain when her two siblings were born, but it seems clear that her sister Mary was older than Anne. Mary's children believed their mother had been the elder sister. Most historians now agree that Mary was born in 1499.
Mary's grandson claimed the Ormonde title in 1596 on the basis she was the elder daughter, which Elizabeth I accepted. Their brother George was born around 1504; the academic debate about Anne's birth date focuses on two key dates: 1501 and 1507. Eric Ives, a British historian and legal expert, advocates the 1501 date, while Retha Warnicke, an American scholar who has written a biography of Anne, prefers 1507; the key piece of surviving written evidence is a letter Anne wrote sometime in 1514. She wrote it in French to her father, still living in England while Anne was completing her education at Mechelen, in the Burgundian Netherlands, now Belgium. Ives argues that the style of the letter and its mature handwriting prove that Anne must have been about thirteen at the time of its composition, while Warnicke argues that the numerous misspellings and grammar errors show that the letter was written by a child. In Ives' view, this would be around the minimum age that a girl could be a maid of honour, as Anne was to the regent, Margaret of Austria.
This is supported by claims of a chronicler from the late 16th century, who wrote that Anne was twenty when she returned from France. These findings are contested by Warnicke in several bo
October 1974 United Kingdom general election
The October 1974 United Kingdom general election took place on Thursday 10 October 1974 to elect 635 members of the British House of Commons. It was the second general election held that year, the first year that two general elections were held in a single year since 1910, 64 years earlier; the election resulted in the Labour Party led by Harold Wilson winning a narrow majority of just 3 seats. The election of February that year had produced an unexpected hung parliament. Coalition talks between the Conservatives and other parties such as the Liberals and the Ulster Unionists failed, allowing Labour leader Harold Wilson to form a minority government; the October campaign was not as exciting as the one in February. Despite continuing high inflation, Labour was able to boast that it had ended the miners' strike, which had dogged Heath's premiership, had returned some stability; the Conservative Party, still led by Edward Heath, released a manifesto promoting national unity. At the election, the Labour Party won 319 seats, allowing it to form a majority government, albeit with a narrow majority of only 3.
The Conservatives and the Liberals each saw their vote share decline, Conservative Party leader Edward Heath, who had lost three of the four elections he contested, was ousted as party leader in February 1975 and replaced with future Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The Scottish National Party won 11 of Scotland's 71 seats. Subsequently, Labour's narrow parliamentary majority had disappeared by 1977 through a series of by-election losses and defections, it required deals with the Liberals, the Ulster Unionists, the Scottish Nationalists and the Welsh Nationalists. This was the last general election victory for the Labour Party until 1997; the election was broadcast live on the BBC, was presented by David Butler, Alastair Burnet, Robert McKenzie, Robin Day and Sue Lawley. The brief period between the elections gave Wilson the opportunity to demonstrate reasonable progress. Despite high inflation and high balance-of-trade deficits, the miners' strike that had dogged Heath was over and some stability had been restored.
Following the February election Heath had remained out of the public eye. As was expected, the campaign was not as exciting as the one in February and overall coverage by broadcasters was scaled back; the Conservatives campaigned on a manifesto of national unity, in response to the mood of the public. Labour campaigned on its recent successes in government, although the party was divided over Europe, their strengths outweighed that of Heath, who knew his future relied on an election victory. Devolution was a key issue for the Liberals and the Scottish National Party, was now one that the two main parties felt the need to address; the Liberals did not issue a new manifesto reissuing the one they had created for the last election. Prime Minister Harold Wilson made a ministerial broadcast on television on 18 September to announce that the election would be held on 10 October, less than eight months since the previous election; the key dates were as follows: Labour achieved a swing of 2% against the Conservatives.
This was the first time since 1922 that a government had won an overall majority with less than 40% of the vote, albeit a majority of only 3. The Conservatives won just 36% of the vote, their worst share since 1945. In Scotland, the SNP added another 4 seats to their successes in the previous election to become the 4th largest party. Turnout was 72.8%, a significant decline on the February election's 78.8% turnout. Labour Government 1974–79 MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, October 1974 Butler, David E.. The British General Election of October 1974, the standard scholarly study Craig, F. W. S. British Electoral Facts: 1832–1987, Dartmouth: Gower, ISBN 0900178302 United Kingdom election results—summary results 1885–1979 Putting Britain First, October 1974 Conservative Party manifesto Britain Will Win With Labour, October 1974 Labour Party manifesto Why Britain Needs Liberal Government, October 1974 Liberal Party manifesto
Robert Lindsay, 29th Earl of Crawford
Robert Alexander Lindsay, 29th Earl of Crawford and 12th Earl of Balcarres, styled Lord Balniel between 1940 and 1975, is a Scottish hereditary peer and Conservative politician. The elder son of the 28th Earl of Crawford and 11th Earl of Balcarres, he succeeded to the family titles in 1975. Lord Crawford and Balcarres is Premier Earl of Chief of Clan Lindsay, he was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. Crawford was appointed First Crown Estate Commissioner from 1980-85, he was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order in the Special Honours List published after The Queen Mother's death. Master of Lindsay Lord Balniel Lord Balniel MP The Rt Hon Lord Balniel MP The Rt Hon Lord Balniel The Rt Hon The Lord Balniel, PC The Rt Hon The Earl of Crawford and Balcarres, PC The Rt Hon The Earl of Crawford and Balcarres, KT, PC The Rt Hon The Earl of Crawford and Balcarres, KT, GCVO, PC Chief of Clan Lindsay Knight of the Thistle, 1996 Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, 2002 Privy Counsellor, 4 February 1972 The seize quartiers of Lord Crawford and Balcarres, KT.
Balcarres House, Fife Peerage of Scotland Savoy Chapel Debrett's People of Today www.rias.org.uk Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Earl of Crawford
Baron is a rank of nobility or title of honour hereditary. The female equivalent is baroness; the word baron comes from a Late Latin barō "man. The scholar Isidore of Seville in the 7th century thought the word was from Greek βᾰρῠ́ς "heavy", but the word is of Old Frankish origin, cognate with Old English beorn meaning "warrior, nobleman". Cornutus in the first century reports a word barones which he took to be of Gaulish origin, he glosses it as meaning servos militum and explains it as meaning "stupid", by reference to classical Latin bārō "simpleton, dunce". During the Ancien Régime, French baronies were much like Scottish ones. Feudal landholders who possessed a barony were entitled to style themselves baron if they were nobles; these baronies could be sold until 1789 when feudal law was abolished. The title of baron was assumed as a titre de courtoisie by many nobles, whether members of the Nobles of the Robe or cadets of Nobles of the Sword who held no title in their own right. Emperor Napoléon created a new imperial nobility.
The titles could not be purchased. In 1815, King Louis XVIII created a new peerage system and a Chamber of Peers, based on the British model. Baron-peer was the lowest title, but the heirs to pre-1789 barons could remain barons, as could the elder sons of viscount-peers and younger sons of count-peers; this peerage system was abolished in 1848. In pre-republican Germany all the knightly families of the Holy Roman Empire were recognised as of baronial rank, although Ritter is the literal translation for "knight", persons who held that title enjoyed a distinct, but lower, rank in Germany's nobility than barons; the wife of a Freiherr is called a Freifrau or sometimes Baronin, his daughter Freiin or sometimes Baroness. Families which had always held this status were called Uradel, were heraldically entitled to a three pointed coronet. Families, ennobled at a definite point in time had seven points on their coronet; these families held their fief in vassalage from a suzerain. The holder of an allodial barony was thus called Freiherr.
Subsequently, sovereigns in Germany conferred the title of Freiherr as a rank in the nobility, without implication of allodial or feudal status. Since 1919, hereditary titles have had no legal status in Germany. In modern, republican Germany and Baron remain heritable only as part of the legal surname. In Austria, hereditary titles have been banned. Thus, a member of the reigning House of Habsburg or members of the former nobility would in most cases be addressed as Herr/Frau in an official/public surrounding, for instance in the media. Still, in both countries, honorary styles like "His/her Highness", "Serenity", etc. persists in social use as a form of courtesy. In Luxembourg and Liechtenstein, barons remain members of the recognized nobility, the sovereigns retain authority to confer the title Generally, all legitimate males of a German baronial family inherit the title Freiherr or Baron from birth, as all legitimate daughters inherit the title of Freiin or Baroness; as a result, German barons have been more numerous than those of such countries where primogeniture with respect to title inheritance prevails as France and the United Kingdom.
In Italy, barone was the lowest rank of feudal nobility except for that of vassallo. The title of baron was most introduced into southern Italy by the Normans during the 11th century. Whereas a barony might consist of two or more manors, by 1700 we see what were single manors erected into baronies, counties or marquisates. Since the early 1800s, when feudalism was abolished in the various Italian states, it has been granted as a simple hereditary title without any territorial designation or predicato; the untitled younger son of a baron is a nobile dei baroni and in informal usage might be called a baron, while certain baronies devolve to heirs male general. Since 1948 titles of nobility have not been recognised by the Italian state. In the absence of a nobiliary or heraldic authority in Italy there are, in fact, numerous persons who claim to be barons or counts without any basis for such claims. Baron and noble are hereditary titles and, as such, could only be created or recognised by the kings of Italy or the pre-unitary Italian states such as the Two Sicilies, Parma or Modena, or by the Holy See or the Republic of San Marino.
Beginning around 1800, a number of signori began to style themselves barone but in many cases this was not sanctioned by decree, while there was less justification in the holder of any large landed estate calling himself a baron. Both were common p
House of Lords
The House of Lords known as the House of Peers, is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Membership is else by heredity or official function. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster; the full name of the house is the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. Unlike the elected House of Commons, members of the House of Lords are appointed; the membership of the House of Lords is drawn from the peerage and is made up of Lords Spiritual and Lords Temporal. The Lords Spiritual are 26 bishops in the established Church of England. Of the Lords Temporal, the majority are life peers who are appointed by the monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister, or on the advice of the House of Lords Appointments Commission. However, they include some hereditary peers including four dukes. Membership was once an entitlement of all hereditary peers, other than those in the peerage of Ireland, but under the House of Lords Act 1999, the right to membership was restricted to 92 hereditary peers.
Since 2008, only one of them is female. While the House of Commons has a defined number of seats membership, the number of members in the House of Lords is not fixed; the House of Lords is the only upper house of any bicameral parliament in the world to be larger than its lower house. The House of Lords scrutinises bills, it reviews and amends Bills from the Commons. While it is unable to prevent Bills passing into law, except in certain limited circumstances, it can delay Bills and force the Commons to reconsider their decisions. In this capacity, the House of Lords acts as a check on the House of Commons, independent from the electoral process. Bills can be introduced into the House of Commons. While members of the Lords may take on roles as government ministers, high-ranking officials such as cabinet ministers are drawn from the Commons; the House of Lords has its own support services, separate from the Commons, including the House of Lords Library. The Queen's Speech is delivered in the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament.
In addition to its role as the upper house, until the establishment of the Supreme Court in 2009, the House of Lords, through the Law Lords, acted as the final court of appeal in the United Kingdom judicial system. The House has a Church of England role, in that Church Measures must be tabled within the House by the Lords Spiritual. Today's Parliament of the United Kingdom descends, in practice, from the Parliament of England, though the Treaty of Union of 1706 and the Acts of Union that ratified the Treaty in 1707 and created a new Parliament of Great Britain to replace the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland; this new parliament was, in effect, the continuation of the Parliament of England with the addition of 45 MPs and 16 Peers to represent Scotland. The House of Lords developed from the "Great Council"; this royal council came to be composed of ecclesiastics and representatives of the counties of England and Wales. The first English Parliament is considered to be the "Model Parliament", which included archbishops, abbots, earls and representatives of the shires and boroughs of it.
The power of Parliament grew fluctuating as the strength of the monarchy grew or declined. For example, during much of the reign of Edward II, the nobility was supreme, the Crown weak, the shire and borough representatives powerless. In 1569, the authority of Parliament was for the first time recognised not by custom or royal charter, but by an authoritative statute, passed by Parliament itself. During the reign of Edward II's successor, Edward III, Parliament separated into two distinct chambers: the House of Commons and the House of Lords; the authority of Parliament continued to grow, during the early 15th century both Houses exercised powers to an extent not seen before. The Lords were far more powerful than the Commons because of the great influence of the great landowners and the prelates of the realm; the power of the nobility declined during the civil wars of the late 15th century, known as the Wars of the Roses. Much of the nobility was killed on the battlefield or executed for participation in the war, many aristocratic estates were lost to the Crown.
Moreover, feudalism was dying, the feudal armies controlled by the barons became obsolete. Henry VII established the supremacy of the monarch, symbolised by the "Crown Imperial"; the domination of the Sovereign continued to grow during the reigns of the Tudor monarchs in the 16th century. The Crown was at the height of its power during the reign of Henry VIII; the House of Lords remained more powerful than the House of Commons, but the Lower House continued to grow in influence, reaching a zenith in relation to the House of Lords during the middle 17th century. Conflicts between the King and the Parliament led to the English Civil War during the 1640s. In 1649, after the defeat and execution of King Charles I, the Commonwealth of England was declared, but the nation was under the overall control of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, S
Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 7th Marquess of Salisbury
Robert Michael James Gascoyne-Cecil, 7th Marquess of Salisbury, is a British Conservative politician. During the 1990s, he was Leader of the House of Lords under his courtesy title of Viscount Cranborne. Lord Salisbury lives in one of England's largest historic houses, Hatfield House, built by an ancestor in the early 17th century, he serves as Chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire. Robert Michael James Gascoyne-Cecil was born on 30 September 1946, the eldest child and first-born son of Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 6th Marquess of Salisbury, his younger brother was the journalist Lord Richard Cecil, killed covering the conflict in Rhodesia in 1978. Lord Cranborne attended Eton College and Christ Church and became a merchant banker before going to work on the family estates. Lord Cranborne was selected, unexpectedly, as the Conservative Party candidate for South Dorset in 1976, where his family owned lands, despite the presence of several former MPs on the shortlist, he spoke at the 1978 Conservative Party conference to oppose UK Government sanctions against Rhodesia.
He won the seat at the 1979 general election, the seventh consecutive generation of his family to sit in the House of Commons, in his maiden speech. He attracted a general reputation as a right-winger on matters affecting the Church of England, but confounded this reputation when he co-wrote a pamphlet in 1981 which said that the fight against unemployment ought to be given more priority than the fight against inflation, he took an interest in Northern Ireland, when Jim Prior announced his policy of'Rolling Devolution', resigned an unpaid job as assistant to Douglas Hurd. Lord Cranborne became known as an anti-communist through his activities in support of Afghan refugees in Pakistan in the early-1980s, sending food parcels to Poland; until the early years of the twenty-first century, a charity shop was run on his Hatfield estate to raise money for these causes, including funds for Polish orphanages. He was involved in efforts to fund the Afghan resistance, his strong opposition to any involvement by the Republic of Ireland in Northern Ireland led him to oppose the Anglo-Irish Agreement and contributed to his decision to retire from the House of Commons in 1987.
After the 1992 general election, John Major used a writ of acceleration to call Lord Cranborne up to the House of Lords in one of his father's junior titles. Thus, Lord Cranborne was summoned to Parliament as Baron Cecil of Essendon, although he continued to be known by his courtesy style of Viscount Cranborne; this is the most recent time a writ of acceleration has been issued, due to the provisions of the House of Lords Act of 1999, abolishing the automatic right of hereditary peers to sit in the House of Lords, any future use of the writ of acceleration is unlikely. He served for two years as a junior defence minister before being appointed as Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Lords in 1994. Funding for opposition parties in the House of Lords, known as Cranborne Money, began during his leadership; when Major resigned as Leader of the Conservative Party in an attempt to test his authority as leader in July 1995, Lord Cranborne led his re-election campaign. He was recognised as one of the few members of the Cabinet who were loyal to Major, but continued to lead the Conservative Peers after Labour won the 1997 general election.
When the new Prime Minister Tony Blair proposed the removal of the hereditary element in the House of Lords, Lord Cranborne negotiated a pact with the Labour government to retain a small number of hereditary peers for the interim period. For the sake of form this amendment was formally proposed by Lord Weatherill, Convenor of the Cross-Bench Peers. However, Lord Cranborne gave his party's approval without consulting the party leader, William Hague, who knew nothing and was embarrassed when Blair told him of it in the House of Commons. Hague sacked Lord Cranborne, who accepted his error, saying that he had "rushed in, like an ill-trained spaniel". All former Leaders of the House of Lords who were hereditary peers accepted life peerages to keep them in the upper house in 1999. Lord Cranborne, who had received the title Baron Gascoyne-Cecil, of Essendon in the County of Rutland, remained active on the backbenches until the House of Lords adopted new rules for declaration of financial interests which he believed were too onerous.
He took "Leave of Absence" on 1 November 2001. He was therefore out of the House of Lords when he succeeded his father as the 7th Marquess of Salisbury on 11 July 2003. In January 2010, Lord Salisbury and Owen Paterson hosted secret talks at Hatfield House, involving the DUP, the UUP and the Conservative Party; these talks prompted speculation that the Conservatives were attempting to create a pan-unionist front to limit Sinn Féin and the Social Democratic and Labour Party at the general election of 2010. In September 2012, Lord Salisbury, in his role as Chairman of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Foundation, was knighted by the Queen and became a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, he retired from the House of Lords on the date of the snap general election. He was appointed a Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter on 27 February 2019, he is a Deputy Lieutenant of Hertfordshire and the current President of the Friends of the British Library. Lord Salisbury is the Chairman of the Constitution Reform Group, a cross-party pressure group, which seeks a new constitutional settlement in the UK by way of the Act of Union Bill 2018.
The Constitution Reform Group’s Act of Union Bill 2018 was introduced as a Private Member's Bill by Lord Lisv