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The BBC's Sean Curran
"The Conservatives are still the biggest party"
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Sir Norman Fowler
"It means one can go on doing politics"
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Sir Paddy Ashdown
"Just Paddy will do"
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Saturday, 2 June, 2001, 00:13 GMT 01:13 UK
MPs chosen for Lords
Micheal Heseltine and Tony Blair
Mr Heseltine is among five new Tory peers
Michael Heseltine and Sir Paddy Ashdown are among a group of retiring MPs who have been elevated to the House of Lords.

The pre-election honours list also includes a number of Labour MPs who have stood down to make way for younger candidates.

Labour peers
Lin Golding, former MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme
David Clark, former MP for South Shields
; Robin Corbett, former MP for Birmingham, Erdingtonhere
Bruce Grocott, former MP for Telford
Barry Jones, former MP for Alyn and Deeside
Sir John Morris, former MP for Aberavon
Peter Temple-Morris, former MP for Leominster
Tom Pendry, former MP for Stalybridge and Hyde
Giles Radice, former MP for Durham North
Jeff Rooker, former MP for Birmingham Perry Bar
Dale Campbell-Savours, former MP for Workington
Robert Sheldon, former MP for Ashton-under-Lyne
The list creates 25 new peers - 12 Labour, five Liberal Democrats, five Conservatives and two Ulster Unionists.

Further nominations will be made after the general election.

Among the new peers are Dr David Clark, whose South Shields constituency is being contested by Downing Street aide David Milliband, and Tom Pendry, whose Stalybridge and Hyde seat is being fought for by Number 10 aide James Purnell.

However, there is no peerage for former St Helens South MP Gerry Bermingham, whose seat is being contested by Tory defector Shaun Woodward, to the anger of some local Labour activists.

Defector rewarded

Prime Minister Tony Blair also honoured his former parliamentary private secretary Bruce Grocott, former attorney general Sir John Morris and Peter Temple-Morris, who defected to Labour from the Tories in 1998.

Conservative peers
Former Northern Ireland secretary Peter Brooke
Former party chairman Sir Norman Fowler
Former deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine
Former defence secretary Tom King
Former agriculture minister John MacGregor
Former social security and agriculture minister Jeff Rooker is rewarded with a peerage as is Giles Radice, ex-chairman of the Commons Treasury select committee and Robert Sheldon, former chairman of the Commons public accounts committee.

The ex-chairman of the Commons home affairs committee Robin Corbett, veteran ex-MP Barry Jones, a Welsh Office minister in the Callaghan government and backbencher Dale Campbell-Savours are also among the Labour peers.

Former ministers elevated

Mr Heseltine is among a clutch of senior retiring Tory MPs nominated by William Hague.

Lib Dem peers
Former Argyll and Bute MP Ray Michie
Former leader Sir Paddy Ashdown
Ronnie Fearn, former Southport MP
Richard Livsey, former Brecon and Radnorshire MP
Robert Maclennan, former MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross

Former Northern Ireland secretaries Peter Brooke and Tom King, Sir Norman Fowler, who held several cabinet posts including transport, social services and employment, and ex-agriculture minister John MacGregor are Mr Hague's other nominations.

Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy nominated Sir Paddy, Robert Maclennan, Ray Michie, the party's former spokeswoman on women's issues and Scotland, ex-Southport MP and party spokesman on tourism Ronnie Fearn and former Welsh Lib Dems leader Richard Livsey.

Unionist peers
Ken Maginnis
Dr John Taylor
The two UUP retiring MPs honoured are Ken Maginnis and John Taylor.

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