As we reported from mirror.co.uk ” A man has joined the House of Lords for life after an election he could only enter because his great-grandad’s cousin’s dad’s fourth cousin’s dad’s cousin’s great-great-great-grandad was made a Lord in 1628.
Tory investment banker Aeneas Simon Mackay, the 15th Lord Reay, can now vote on your laws and claim £305 a day after triumphing in a hereditary peer by-election – a system branded a “mockery of our democracy”.
The 53-year-old is the chief of ancient Scottish Clan Mackay, whose former leader Donald Mackay was handed a peerage by Charles I.
According to the Clan Mackay Society, folklore describes Lord Reay as a magician who won a work-loving gang of fairies in an encounter with a witch in a cave.
His coat of arms is said to be two daggers pointed at a roebuck’s head surrounded by the heads of three muzzle-wearing bears.
But the 15th Lord’s existence has been a bit less mystical.
He went to £39,000-a-year Westminster School before founding a “corporate finance advisory boutique” and working in New York.
His father, the 14th Lord, sat in the Lords for almost 50 years and campaigned against onshore wind farms before his death in 2013.
According to Cracroft’s Peerage, Donald Mackay was the current Lord’s great-grandad’s cousin’s dad’s fourth cousin’s dad’s cousin’s great-great-great-grandad.
Darren Hughes, chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said: “While MPs debate what ‘taking back control’ really means, Lords have picked yet another aristocrat to vote on our laws for life.
“With just 100-odd votes from Britain’s feudal few, this man will now be able to claim £305 a day plus travel costs to steer our politics”.
Labour leader in the Lords Baroness Smith added: “As much as we welcome an individual Lord, the system has had its day.
“It is increasingly difficult to defend – a temporary measure that has gone on beyond its time.”
Today’s election result was a hangover from Tony Blair’s bid to modernise the House of Lords.
Hereditary peers were mostly cast out in 1999 but 92 remained as a compromise.
That means when one dies or retires, there is an election to find their replacement.
But only hereditary peers can stand in that election, and only members of the House of Lords can vote.
The latest election was held to replace Tory Lord Skelmersdale, an Old Etonian who sat in the Lords for 44 years before his death in October.
All 16 candidates were men including 10 Conservatives, five independent crossbenchers and one unaffiliated.
In total 259 peers voted and Lord Reay won with 110 votes, beating the second-placed Earl of Leicester who won 93.
The Earl of Carnarvon, who lives in the real-life home that stages Downton Abbey, won just 20 votes.
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