Consumer expert Martin Lewis has revealed he was recently turned down after applying to become a member of the House of Lords.
Mr Lewis, founder and chair of MoneySavingExpert.com, said that he believes his bid for a cross-bench peerage was rejected because he was “honest” about the limited time he could commit to the role.
In an interview with the BBC’s Political Thinking podcast, the Jewish broadcaster expressed his desire for “more consensual, co-operative politics”.
Mr Lewis has become increasingly vocal in recent months on behalf of consumers and financially stretched households, amid surging inflation and a cost-of-living crisis.
“I never attack the Tories, I attack the policies of the Government,” he said.
He told the podcast, hosted by Nick Robinson, that he was a member of the Liberal Democrats until the age of 24 but since then has been a “floating voter”.
Mr Lewis said that it was only a number of weeks ago that his attempt to become an independent peer was turned down by the House of Lords Appointments Commission.
“I did this really silly thing and I was honest in the interview,” he said.
He said that he told the commission he could only offer a limited number of hours.
“I’m very busy with my job, but most importantly, I have a nine-year-old daughter and until she is 13, my most important job from 6.30pm until 8pm at night is to be with her and put her to bed.
“I would see my role as being learning for three to five years, with limited input and then gradually over the next five to 10 years, committing more time to the House of Lords.”
Mr Lewis suggested that this may have represented a “stumbling block” to his application, although he said that the commission invited him to apply again in the future.
“I don’t think I was willing to give them the time that they felt was necessary to be in the Lords.”
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.