Ros Altmann

Pensions expert turned Tory peer and minister Ros Altmann was the subject of much amusement last week, with the news of her expulsion as a member of both Labour and Lib Dems, which Altmann had joined — she claims — in order to “keep in touch with what each party was doing”.

But a not insignificant fact seems to have been overlooked.

Back in 2010 Altmann had apparently self-nominated herself for a peerage — only to be rebuffed by the House of Lords Appointments CommissionThe Times’ City diary (£) reported:

Altmann says she is “absolutely devastated” by the Lords decision. She was not even invited in for an interview, “so I had no opportunity to meet the commission and put forward my case personally”.

The Noble Lord would have us believe that — despite being the former director of Saga and the UK’s most prominent pensions reform campaigner — being kept in the loop on parties’ policy necessitated membership.

But given her clear political ambitions and rejection as a crossbencher, is a better explanation that she she joined all three parties in a bid to secure a (whipped) peerage from one of them?

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