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. 43: Nirj Deva
Peter Cuthbertson writes:
"I wish to nominate Nirj Deva, who is a Conservative MEP for the South East of England. Previously, Nirj was the Conservative Party's first Asian MP of modern times, representing Brentford and Isleworth from 1992 to 1997. Since 1985 he has held the position of Her Majesty's Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Greater London. Sri Lankan-born, Nirj first became prominent in Conservative politics in the early Thatcher years as an advisor to Willie Whitelaw. He was elected Chairman of the Bow Group in 1981.
"Since he was elected to the European Parliament a decade ago, after drawing much attention with the energy of his campaign, Nirj has made international development his passionate focus, and boasts years of experience on the issue.
"Tokenism need play no part in this nomination. Nirj is a rare as an elected Tory in his Asian ethnicity and expertise in development, but on this issue, and on race, he is robustly conservative - sceptical both of multiculturalism and of no-questions-asked foreign aid policies that enrich only dictators and their henchmen. One of the eurosceptic members of the Tory delegation, he has championed in Brussels a broad range of worthy causes, such as autism awareness, the campaign against child labour, human rights in Zimbabwe and - through the pro-life caucus, which he heads - the rights of unborn children.
"As a member of the House of Lords, Nirj could contribute his passion, his experience and his conservatism to the deliberations of the Upper House. From these benches, he would also be in a position, if asked, to contribute at the ministerial level to the next Conservative Government's policies towards the developing world."
It should be noted that after this year's European elections it will no longer be permissible for an MEP to be a peer sitting and voting in the House of Lords (since MEPs will not be allowed to have a dual mandate as a member of a national legislature). As such, if Nirj Deva were to be nominated to the Lords, he would have to relinquish his place in the European Parliament.
> Previous nomination: Mike Whitby