Martin Lewis has been turned down for a peerage for a second time – but the consumer campaigner said he hadn't ruled out whether to apply again.
The founder and chairman of the MoneySavingExpert.com website was reported in 2018 to have been passed over by the House of Lords Appointments Commission.
Mr Lewis revealed a recent application had now also been rejected, claiming the limited hours he could sit acted as a “stumbling block”.
“I'm very busy with my job, but most importantly, I have a nine-year-old daughter and until she is 13, my most important job from 6.30pm until 8pm at night is to be with her and put her to bed,” Mr Lewis said.
“I would see my role as being learning for three to five years, with limited input and then gradually over the next five to 10 years, committing more time to the House of Lords.”
Anyone wanting to become a peer can nominate themselves or be nominated by another person or organisation. They must meet criteria including a record of “significant achievement” and a willingness to “commit the time necessary”.
'Breathed a sigh of relief'
Speaking to the BBC’s Political Thinking podcast, Mr Lewis admitted he “breathed a sigh of relief because there’s a lot of pressure on at the moment and I thought maybe a couple of years is probably more sensible”.
Mr Lewis, who has been highly critical of the Government during the cost of living crisis but praised Rishi Sunak’s recent support package, added he would sit as a crossbench peer and swore by a “paradox of neutrality”.
“If you are not party political, people will listen,” he said. “As soon as you align to one side or the other you are instantly written off by people on the other side.”
A committee spokesman said: “We can only make very few appointments per year so it’s a competitive process, and we do have to disappoint some really talented people.
“In terms of what we require, the process does mean applicants have to demonstrate they can make a commitment and contribution to the House of Lords, but that is not determined on the basis of their personal circumstances or caring responsibilities.”
CORRECTION: An early version of this article suggested that Martin Lewis had vowed to apply again after being turned down for a peerage for a second time. In fact, Mr Lewis has not yet decided whether to reapply. We are happy to correct the record.