Equal marriage architect Lynne Featherstone appointed to House of Lords

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Former Lib Dem equalities minister Lynne Featherstone has been appointed to the House of Lords, as David Cameron creates a number of new peers.

The former MP for Hornsey and Wood Green served as an equalities minister in the last government, and was the architect of the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) bill that brought same-sex marriage to England and Wales.

However, she lost her seat in May’s election amid electoral wipe-out for the Liberal Democrats, coming second in her constituency by over 10,000 votes.

She was among the 45 new peers appointed in today’s Dissolution Honours list, as David Cameron attempts to rebalance the Lords – bringing the total number of peers in the chamber from 781 to 826.

Mrs Featherstone told PinkNews: “It’s great. Thank you Nick Clegg! As a minister I did get to change the world for the better and same-sex marriage is definitely my happy place.

“Now I will have the chance to keep on fighting injustice: gay rights in Africa, ending FGM and saving  the planet. That should keep me busy!”

Mrs Featherstone was named PinkNews Ally of the Year last year.

The move comes as the Lib Dems opted to retain Mrs Featherstone as a ‘frontbench’ spokesperson despite losing her seat, naming her as spokesperson for Energy and Climate Change.

As the party has just 8 sitting MPs, the majority of its spokespeople were recruited from outside the House of Commons, with peers, local councillors and Mayors filling some of the roles.

Former Lib Dem MP Don Foster, who represented the party at the PinkNews Debate earlier this year, was also handed a peerage, among 11 Lib Dems heading to the Lords. Nick Clegg’s out former Chief of Staff Jonny Oates will also head to the Lords.

26 Conservatives were appointed to the Lords – with former Foreign Secretary William Hague, who warned about the “worsening” situation for LGBT rights abroad at last year’s the PinkNews Awards, handed a peerage.

Among the eight Labour appointments were out campaign strategist Spencer Livermore, who managed the party’s election campaign earlier this year.