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. 58: Shami Chakrabarti
Not all of the nominations in this series are for people who would necessarily be expected to take the Conservative whip, but rather for potential Cross Benchers who would be supportive of significant aspects of the Conservative agenda. I think it's fair to say that today's nomination falls into that category.
Alex Deane of Big Brother Watch writes:
"Shami Chakrabarti has been at the forefront of public life since 2001. She is the Director of Liberty (formerly the National Council on Civil Liberties). She will be well known to readers of this site, as a regular on various news broadcasts and a commentator on some of the most vital questions faced by our country.
"Detention without trial, random stop and search, the inclusion of the innocent on the DNA database, the misuse and abuse of covert surveillance powers by local councils and other authorities; Chakrabarti has led the chorus of opposition to the current Government’s illiberal approach. Indeed, liberty is the issue of our time – and it needs more strong advocates in the Upper House.
"Her successful collaboration with David Davis shows that she is more than capable of working with liberty-minded Conservatives; but, such is the importance of this area (which in reality is not a party political issue) that if Chakrabarti wished to sit as a cross-bencher, that should not stand as an obstacle to her appointment by a Conservative Government.
"A gifted orator, she would grace the chamber; a trained lawyer, she would add expertise to the process of analysing legislation. A British Asian woman whose success has unimpeachably been achieved by merit, she is a example of what is best about 21st Century Britain. I commend her to the House."
> Previous nomination: Alistair Cooke