Whadda ya mean former peer?

Labour has demanded ministers explain why £330,000 of taxpayers’ money was spent on repairing a pothole-ridden road reportedly owned by a former Tory peer.

Lisa Nandy, the shadow levelling-up secretary, called on the government to say “how this happened and what steps are being taken to ensure it does not happen again”.

It came after the Daily Mail reported the money had been spent on improving the road on land owned by the eighth Viscount Gage. He inherited his title in 1993 and was removed from the House of Lords, alongside the majority of his fellow hereditary peers, in 1999.

He’s still a Viscount so still a peer. True, he’s not a member of the House of Lords any more but he’s still a peer.

18 thoughts on “Whadda ya mean former peer?”

  1. “reportedly” carries an awful lot of weight. The grant was to a charity.
    But, hey! it’s Lisa Nandy – we mustn’t let facts get in the way of a good smear.

  2. Nandy has her political priorities straight. 330 grand?! You could build a dozen hospitals, subsidise gas supply for a decade, and give every child a lateral flow test for that sort of money!

  3. the shadow levelling-up secretary

    The shadow what? FFS

    Presumably when Labour win the next election she’ll be Minister for ‘levelling up’.

    Though I suppose that’s why she’s interested in dodgy roads.

  4. @ dearieme
    A peer, but not an aristocrat. A politician who was given a life peerage after failing to win a by-election.

  5. Maybe the road was on private land, but if the road is public highway, the road is public highway, and the responsibility for maintainance is the public highways authorities. The B6012 crosses the Duke of Devonshire’s land at Chatsworth. Doesn’t mean it’s the Duke’s responsibility to repair it, it’s a public highway, the public maintain it from public funds. Ditto the roads through the Castle Howard grounds.

  6. It’s easier, and more fun, to quibble over trifling amounts than, say, the enormous amounts spent on Crossrail and HS2,or whatever they have been doing for the last 15 years on the M3

  7. “Maybe the road was on private land, but if the road is public highway, ”

    Most roads in country areas are on private land. Absent some evidence that the State ever bought the land a public highway is on (as they would have done to build the motorway system for example) the legal presumption is that the adjoining landowners own the land underneath the Public Highway. The relevant Highway Authority is merely responsible for maintaining the top ‘two spits’ of soil and tarmac (a spit is a spade length, so roughly 24″). And if the road ever stops being Public Highway full ownership reverts to those adjoining landowners.

    How to I know this? Because I now own a short section of metalled road that was once a Public Highway, but was declassified as a road safety measure (the road was superfluous to traffic needs and had a very dangerous junction onto an A road) and thus the ownership of it reverted to me as I owned the fields on both sides.

  8. @ dearieme
    As a marxist daughter of a marxist, her lived experience is, I assume, that of a plutocrat rather than an aristocrat.If you google “Lisa Nandy” one of the top sites is “Lisa Nandy net worth” which is, allegedly $1.5m. She certainly hasn’t earned that much.

  9. Chris Miller:


    Home Office, Foreign Office, Treasury, War Dept. 20 clerks in each. Smash the rest and salt the ground.

  10. @Boganboy… There’s a fair chance that the law is very similar in Oz to the UK, so look up the “ad medium filum” rule.

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