Here is the latest nomination in our series highlighting people David Cameron should consider appointing to the House of Lords.
If you would like to nominate someone, please email Jonathan Isaby with your suggestion, ideally including key arguments for the nomination as well as biographical information. The sources of nominations will be treated confidentially where requested.
No. 24: Stuart Wheeler
Daniel Hannan MEP writes:
"When Stuart Wheeler made the biggest ever single donation to the Conservative Party, he mentioned, en passant, that he would turn down a peerage if offered one.
"I’d say that attitude recommends him eloquently for the Upper House. Given what we now know of how Lords do business, the desire for a peerage ought in itself to disqualify someone from receiving one.
"As things stand, peerages tend to go to careful men, cautious men, men who wait until everyone else has spoken before they express a view. Stuart Wheeler, who made his money by popularising spread-betting, is a living antidote to timid careerism. He has a largeness of character, one aspect of which is his extraordinary generosity. While wealthy, he is by no means super-rich; yet he quietly supports a large number of charities, free-market think-tanks and Euro-sceptic pressure groups.
"Last year, he went to court over the Government’s abandonment of its promised referendum on the
European ConstitutionLisbon Treaty. Although his suit was eventually rejected, he succeeded in delaying British ratification until after the Irish referendum and, in so doing, helped secure Ireland’s “No” vote. Had he not won his application for a judicial review, the last three days of the Irish campaign would have been dominated by the news that even the Euro-sceptic Brits had accepted the treaty. The action was typical of its author: quixotic, patriotic and ultimately successful.
"Stuart Wheeler is a modest man, and he won’t thank me for brandishing putative honours at him. Like Caesar on the Lupercal, he will doubtless decline the coronet. But we should press it down upon his brow regardless, my friends. His country needs him."
> Previous nomination: Sir Graham Bright