Lords leader quits to return to business

LORD Strathclyde, Leader of the House of Lords, resigned yesterday after 25 continuous years on the Conservative front bench. The hereditary peer, 52, said he took the surprise decision to quit the cabinet halfway through this parliament so he can pursue a second career in business before it is too late.

“I started my life in the private sector and at some stage always hoped to return, I would now like to do so,” he told the Prime Minister in his resignation letter.

It is unclear what role Strathclyde has in my mind but he began his career in the City as an insurance broker with Bain Clarkson. He continues to be a name at Lloyd’s of London, controls his family’s estate management business and has held various non-executive directorships.

His parliamentary private secretary, Nigel Adams MP, told City A.M. that the peer has been an “incredibly astute and popular politician” who served with distinction and “will be sorely missed”.

Strathclyde will be replaced as leader by Lord Hill, a former political secretary to John Major.