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WESTMINSTER BOUND: Sir Stuart Rose, the former chief executive officer and chairman of Marks & Spencer, will become a life member of the House of Lords, the upper house of the British Parliament. Life peers, as they are known, are appointed by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister and the leading political parties for their knowledge or experience in a particular field. However, they do not pass on their title.
Peerages were traditionally granted to members of the land-owning aristocracy and favorites of the British monarch. In the late 19th century, however, they began to be awarded increasingly to industrialists and community leaders. The House of Lords has about 700 unelected members whose job is to scrutinize the work of the House of Commons, the lower house of parliament whose members are elected. Life peers must be British, Irish or Commonwealth citizens.
Rose joins a diverse group of life peers, including architect Richard Rogers, Internet entrepreneur Martha Lane Fox, Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks and Simon Wolfson, ceo of Next plc, the high-street retailer.
Rose, who has recently been advising the government on how to turn around underperforming hospitals in Britain’s National Health Service network, will carry the title of Lord. He remains involved in retail, and holds non-executive positions or investments in brands including Ocado, Dressipi.com and The Hut Group. He is also chairman of the high-street retailer Fat Face.