There are questions about appointment of Evgeny Lebedev to the house of Lords as a life peer. The decision has been defended in a number of different ways:
- Boris Johnson
- Johnson told reporters in London on Monday it would “obviously be extraordinary” if the security services had deemed Lebedev to be a risk and the prime minister had intervened to ensure the appointment was granted, “but that’s not the case.”
- Michael Gove
- I think one of the things that Vladimir Putin would like us to do is to have an approach in the UK that said that everyone of Russian ancestry was somehow persona non grata.
- Evgeny Lebedev
- I am not a security risk to this country, which I love. My father a long time ago was a foreign intelligence agent of the KGB, but I am not some agent of Russia.
All these seem to be 'negative reasons', in that they are why we should not exclude him from the house of Lords. None of them are 'positive reasons', in that why this particular individual should be elevated to a life peerage. From the point of view of a voter I would hope that the decision was made because they were considered the best person to make the laws under which we all have to live.
Is there any rule, custom or expectation that peerages are assigned on the basis of ability to make good laws? Is there anything that is supposed to guide these assignments, other that 'not an overt security risk'?