Peer Pressure: How To Strip A Lord Of His Title

You can sign the petition to have the decision not to prosecute Lord Janner reviewed HERE

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How do you strip a peer of his title ?

The short answer is that it isn’t very easy. Not as easy for example as stripping a Knight of his title which is done by the Honours Forfeiture Committee which is convened at the request of the Prime Minister. If that committee concludes there is sufficient evidence that an individual has brought the honours system into disrepute a recommendation by them is forwarded to the Queen through the Prime Minister’s office and she has the final say.

Well known individuals who have lost honours in this way include [Sir] Anthony Blunt, Lester Piggott [OBE], and [Sir] Fred Goodwin but the Honours Forfeiture Committee can only recommend the forfeiture of honours Knighthood and below. In other words, not peers of the realm.

To understand how a peer of the realm can be stripped of their title we need to take a look at the only time it has ever occurred almost 100 years ago, and the Titles Deprivation Act 1917 as a result of which both the Duke of Cumberland and the Duke of Albany were stripped of their titles for treason.

Click on image to enlarge.

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Now, to be fair to the Duke of Cumberland and the Duke of Albany they were also the Prince of Hanover and the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha respectively. They both lived in Germany, would have considered themselves German, and so supported Germany during World War One.

If you read the Titles Deprivation Act 1917 you will recognise that it addresses a specific issue of a specific  time. This act of parliament is not, and was never intended to be, a general mechanism for removing the title/s of a peer of the realm.

(1) His Majesty may appoint a committee of His Privy Council, of which two members at least shall be members of the Judicial Committee, to enquire into and report the names of any persons enjoying any dignity or title as a peer or British prince who have, during the present war, borne arms against His Majesty or His Allies, or who have adhered to His Majesty’s enemies.

To do that, to strip a peer of his or her title, you need an entirely new act of parliament. Either another specific act like the Titles Deprivation Act 1917 or a more general act of parliament which does create a mechanism for the removal of a peerage by, for example, extending the power of the Honours Forfeiture Committee (mentioned above) to include peers.

It is precisely because it is so difficult to remove the titles of peers that Baron Archer (perjury and perverting the course of justice), Dame Porter (gerrymandering), and Baron Hanningfield (false accounting) are still able to lord it over the rest of us despite having all seriously ‘ brought the honours system into disrepute’.

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20 Comments

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20 responses to “Peer Pressure: How To Strip A Lord Of His Title

  1. Pingback: Peer Pressure: How To Strip A Lord Of His Title | Alternative News Network

  2. Joe S. Walker

    Sir Anthony Burgess? I think that should be Anthony Blunt. Not only was the Clockwork Orange author never knighted, but as he wrote under a pen name a knighthood would have made him Sir John Wilson.

    • Thanks,

      Mind faze. :-)

      Apologies to the author of A Clockwork Orange.

      Corrected.

      • Andy Barnett

        Do you mean ‘brain fade’? It would seem to be catching.

      • dpack

        im still having road to madness issues regarding blunt ,that he had some very nasty personal pleasures is probably true and that he was spooky is probably true ,that he was moscow’s man is plausible but when was that identified was his “vulnerability ” then used to provide misdirection to those in moscow who thought him their creature.
        i have had a few similar thoughts as to the “official”version of the whole philby/burgess/blunt/caincross/mclean story,it has a great deal of ambiguity attached to the usual narratives .

        out of the five philby and caincross are the most difficult to define but blunt strikes me as easily “owned” by any player who was aware of his nature.

        blunt is also a candidate for the “relative”of dickie mentioned in a very unpleasant story.

        as a slight aside the sudden return of h8 from the middle east was around the time philby jumped from his middle east posting (posing as a journo).it is probably a coincidence cos 1963 was a very busy year but as there is good reason to think they were old comrades (balkan activities etc )it is possible that there is some connection between the two relocations .

  3. l8in

    Reblogged this on L8in.

  4. Gary

    Entitled to vote on legislation and can’t be voted out. Police and CPS appear to be admitting this man has raped children. He MUST be stripped of his title and expelled from Westminster.

  5. IWTT

    Perhaps this is an issue that needs to be pursued vigorously in May 2015 when Parliament reconvenes. I am incensed.

    Cyril Smith and Jimmy Savile still ‘hold’ their Knighthood in death; in spite of what we now know about them.

    Thanks for the heads-up on the petition regarding having the DPP judgement reversed. This is the way that ordinary people can express their dissatisfaction and disbelief.

  6. SamC

    Signed, this end.

  7. Anon

    The French do a nice line in automated HairCut machines.

    • Sabre

      Plenty off the top.

      • Sabre – totally off-topic, but… I now understand how wrong I was about Anthony Gilberthorpe. My comments about him were based in ignorance, and yours in knowledge & wisdom it appears. Just wanted to publicly confess that :)

      • Sabre

        @Justin
        I claim no special knowledge or wisdom Justin and admissions of error are a virtue, hubris leading inevitably to nemesis.
        What informed your change of opinion?

  8. Jack

    We could always just prosecute the rancid old worm and throw him into prison for the rest of his wicked life.

  9. Graham Tester

    Once upon a time, the term “Establishment” conjoured up in my mind an image of a respectable looking gent with a bowler hat and brolly. Nowadays, however, the image that jumps into my mind is that of a tramp in a dirty mac hanging around a public lavatory. Funny how times change.

    • Sabre

      Graham, the emperor was always stark bollock naked, the only thing that has changed is that you’ve noticed now.

  10. Sabre

    He can keep keep his title, it means sod all at street level, we want his Liberty if and when convicted and his assets if and when successfully litigated against.

  11. Pingback: Just a minute, Janner.. | cathyfox blog