Michael Grade and Patience Wheatcroft made peers

Michael Grade, the former BBC chairman and ITV executive chairman, and Wall St Journal Europe editor Patience Wheatcroft are to be made Conservative peers in the House of Lords, it was revealed today.

Wheatcroft is expected to stand down as editor of WSJ Europe after less than 18 months in the role.

She joined the WSJ in June last year as owner News Corporation beefed-up the European edition of the WSJ and created a new integrated London newsroom.

A veteran of business journalism, Wheatcroft was City editor of The Times from 1997 to 2005 before spending just over a year as editor of the Sunday Telegraph.

Wheatcroft is amongst 54 new working peers – announced by Downing Street today – who will sit in the House of Lords. She will be joined by Grade, who worked as BBC chairman from 2004 until joining ITV as executive chairman in 2006.

Julian Fellowes, creator of hit ITV period drama Downton Abbey, is also to be made a Conservative peer in a list that also includes party donors including millionaire car importer Bob Edmiston and Conservative co-treasurer Stanley Fink, as well as Tory fundraiser Andrew Feldman.

Labour donor Sir Gulam Noon, the curry tycoon, was also honoured.

Former Army chief General Sir Richard Dannatt is to take a place in the Lords as a crossbencher, despite being nominated by David Cameron when he was leader of the Opposition.

Divorce lawyer Fiona Shackleton, whose clients have included Sir Paul McCartney and the Prince of Wales, will become a Tory peer.

The Labour benches will be joined by Dame Joan Bakewell – once described as “the thinking man’s crumpet”.

Tory ex-MPs who are to join the House of Lords include Howard Flight, the former Conservative deputy chairman forced to resign after being taped before the 2005 general election suggesting the Tories had secret spending cut plans.

The others are Richard Spring, former chief whip David Maclean and Sir Michael Lord, who became deputy speaker of the Commons.

Additions to the Labour benches include Stewart Wood, a former adviser to Gordon Brown until after this year’s general election.

Labour Party general secretary Ray Collins and former Labour MP Oona King are also to receive peerages.

Liberal Democrat appointments to the Lords include John Sharkey, who chaired the party’s general election campaign this year, and former MP Susan Kramer, who lost her seat in May.

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