The chairman of construction equipment manufacturer JCB, Anthony Bamford, was one of 30 new members of the House of Lords appointed last week for their contribution to British society and business.
Sir Anthony, who in 2011 was asked by the government to prepare a report on manufacturing in the UK, is known for being outspoken about the need for government to support British manufacturing.
But last week’s appointments are also expected to spark debate because of the inclusion of political party donors like Bamford, who is a supporter of the Conservative Party. According to The Sentinel newspaper, his family has given around £2.5 million to the Tories over the past decade.
A JCB spokesman said: “Sir Anthony feels honoured to have been invited to serve in the House of Lords as a working peer. He is looking forward to making a positive contribution on key business and industry issues, particularly in relation to manufacturing, engineering and exporting.”
Other high-profile new peers include Dame Lucy Neville-Rolfe, the former executive director of Tesco’s corporate and legal affairs department, justice campaigner Doreen Lawrence, and senior police officer Brian Paddick.