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In 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced 58 new life peers. This was the largest number of new life peers announced in one calendar year since 2010, the year the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition Government came into power.

The most recent list of new life peers was announced on 22 December 2020. It featured 16 new life peers, broken down into the following groups:

  • 7 Conservative peers;
  • 5 Labour peers; and
  • 4 Crossbench peers.

The same day, the Government announced that David Wolfson would be given a life peerage to enable him to become Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice.

Boris Johnson has now appointed 79 life peers since he became prime minister in July 2019. This is almost twice as many as Theresa May created during her three years in office (43). By comparison, David Cameron created 120 life peers in his first 18 months in office. Tony Blair created 101 in that time. Tony Blair created the most life peers of any prime minister during his time in office (374) and David Cameron created the second highest number (245).

To date, 1,517 life peers have been created under the Life Peerages Act 1958. The highest number of appointments occurred in the 1990s, followed by the 2010s. These decades marked Labour coming into office in 1997, the Coalition in 2010 and the Conservative victory in 2015.

Just over 1 in 5 of the life peer appointments have been women. Around a third have been awarded to former MPs.

This briefing provides a further breakdown of life peer creations by prime minister and by decade. It also contains a list of every life peer announced since 1958. This briefing does not include information on the Lords Spiritual, hereditary peers or peers appointed under the Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876 (which related to the appointment of ‘Law Lords’ to the House). Information on these can be found in the following Library Briefings:


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