New Lord vows to fight for Sheffield

Paul Scriven
Paul Scriven
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Former city council leader Paul Scriven is to be appointed to the House of Lords – and today pledged to stand up for Sheffield.

Mr Scriven, aged 48, will represent the Liberal Democrats and is expected to take up his seat in the autumn.

He was leader of the council for three years from 2008 until 2011, but lost his seat in Broomhill the following year.

In the 2010 General Election he stood for parliament in the Sheffield Central constituency and was narrowly defeated by Paul Blomfield by 165 votes.

Mr Scriven, who lives in Hunters Bar, said he was surprised and honoured to be asked to join the Lords.

“It brings responsibilities with it but I will be a working lord and I intend to use the role as a national platform to stand up for Sheffield and the north,” he said.

“Some friends have questioned it as I have always fought the establishment and now I am becoming part of it, but I see it as giving me the chance to fight for the things I believe in.

“I will be championing the fairness agenda – as there can’t be too many people in the Lords who are the son of a dustbin man.”

On the international front, Mr Scriven said he intended to fight the continuing persecution of gay and lesbian people in countries around the world.

Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg said: “Anyone who knows Paul will know that he isn’t afraid of speaking up and challenging the establishment.

“Also, like me, he passionately believes in the need for reform in order to bring the House of Lords into the 21st century.

“Paul has a wealth of experience and expertise in local government, public services and business.

“He is also someone who loves Sheffield and will be another effective voice in our corner down in Westminster.

“I know he will do a great job and I’m looking forward to working with him.”

Mr Scriven said he would be in the Lords every week while still running his own businesses.

He said: “I’m someone who believes in introducing a democratic second chamber.

“So I was bitterly disappointed when both Labour and the Conservatives teamed up to block the Lib Dems bringing elections to the House of Lords.

“As a member I intend to be a strong voice in favour of wide-ranging reforms including a wholly elected second chamber.”

Mr Scriven said he had not yet chosen his official title but said it would have a Sheffield connection.

“This is my adopted home and the city that I love,” he added.