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A few weeks ago, Good Law Project wrote to the Prime Minister in respect of its decision to appoint a Conservative Party donor to the House of Lords. The donor, Peter Cruddas, made a donation of half a million pounds to the Conservative Party just days after he was appointed.
We have now received a response from the Government’s lawyers. They argue that the granting of peerages is a political matter covered by Parliamentary privilege, which means it cannot be subject to judicial review. It is also likely they will argue we’re out of time to bring this challenge because the donation was made back in February. Whilst the news of Cruddas’s huge donation was kept quiet until last month, there is a chance the Court could refuse permission to bring the case because of timing.
Our own lawyers have advised that maintaining a challenge will be difficult – and the question of justiciability would likely need to be resolved in the Supreme Court. With that in mind, we have taken the decision not to proceed with the challenge.
Good Law Project is a small team and with the support of thousands of people across the country we are holding this Government to account on a whole number of fronts. We did not crowdfund for this case and we do not think, given the advice we have received, it is sensible to proceed with a challenge. We are not liable to pay any of the Government’s costs.