Here is the latest nomination in our series highlighting people David Cameron should consider appointing to the House of Lords, since any Conservative administration formed after the general election would be able to call upon the support of the lowest number of Conservative peers in history.
If you would like to nominate someone, please email Jonathan Isaby with your suggestion, including key arguments for the nomination as well as biographical information. The sources of nominations will be treated confidentially where requested.
No. 55: Michael Spencer
Chris Neal writes:
"You would perhaps expect a Conservative Party Treasurer to be automatically ennobled, but the backlash from ‘cash for honours’ has meant a sensible reticence on the part of party leaders to proceed with gongs for major donors. Maybe this is why Michael Spencer has not joined illustrious recent predecessors including their Lordships Marland, Harris, Ashcroft and Kalms, despite a number of valid ancillary reasons to acknowledge his considerable contributions to business, charity and politics.
"He founded and is Chief Executive of what in 1986 was a small derivatives inter dealer broker that through his stewardship has grown to become the world’s largest. ICAP dominates the world stage in their field and brings considerable revenue to the UK exchequer in corporation tax and income tax paid by their employees. Spencer is an expert on the wholesale banking system and the complex world of derivatives.
"For 17 years Spencer has encouraged his City colleagues to dig deep and donate a day of their revenues to charity: their tally in December 2009 was £11.5m, taking them to an impressive total that now exceeds £75m.
"Elevated to the House of Lords and with a suitable portfolio advising the treasury team, he would bring clarity to a system that has hitherto confused many in politics. The banking and financial services industry is being demonised and as with the expenses scandal in Westminster, a few bad apples have tarred the whole system. This current Government is in danger of ‘killing the golden goose’ with its pernicious 50% tax on bonuses. We are already witnessing the departure of many in the global financial industry from the City of London to more tax and regulatory friendly jurisdictions.
"Spencer possesses a wealth of experience and understanding of this complex global industry and could help a Conservative Government retain the talent we have in the City, potentially attract new participants and create the regulatory framework needed to prevent a repeat of the crisis. He is clearly respected and trusted by David Cameron and George Osborne they would do well to harness his keen intellect, knowledge and business acumen."
> Previous nomination: Roger Scruton