Former deputy prime minister and Hull MP John Prescott among six removed from House of Lords

John Prescott suffered a stroke in 2019, and has only spoken in the upper chamber once since then. Credit: PA

Former deputy prime minister John Prescott has ceased to be a member of the House of Lords, marking the end of a parliamentary career stretching back more than 50 years.

The departure from the upper house was also announced of one-time prisoners and former Conservative peers Jeffrey Archer and Conrad Black.

Under the House of Lords Reform Act 2014, peers who do not a attend the House of Lords - as checked against official records - for the duration of a parliamentary session "cease to be a member" at the beginning of the following session.

The other departures include the former chair of the parliamentary Labour party and Bristol MP, Baroness Jean Corston, former Oldham and Enfield MP, Lord Bryan Davies of Oldham, Lord Harold Kalms, and hereditary peer David Verney, Lord Willoughby de Broke.

Records show that Labour peer Lord Prescott had only spoken once in the chamber since suffering a stroke in 2019, and he had not voted since February 2023.

The 86-year-old was first elected as a Hull MP in 1970.

He remained in the Commons until 2010 when he joined the Lords.

The former trade union activist served 10 years as Tony Blair’s deputy prime minister after Labour’s 1997 general election landslide.

During much of that time, he acted as a mediator in the often turbulent relationship between Mr Blair and chancellor Gordon Brown.

He once famously punched a protester who threw an egg at him during an election campaign visit to North Wales in 2001.

John Prescott famously punched a protestor who threw an egg at him during a visit to Wales, ending up in this scuffle. Credit: PA

While a loyal supporter of Mr Blair in office, Lord Prescott was subsequently critical of parts of New Labour’s legacy, denouncing Britain’s involvement in the Iraq War.

He also strongly defended Jeremy Corbyn during his time as party leader in the face of fierce criticism.

Lord Prescott was among six peers who Lord Speaker Lord McFall of Alcluith declared on Wednesday “had ceased to be members of the House by virtue of non-attendance in the last session of Parliament”.

“In so doing, I should like to thank all the noble lords and baronesses for their many years of service to the House and Parliament," he said.

Others whose membership was ended included former media mogul Lord Black of Crossharbour.

The ex-proprietor of the Daily Telegraph and a number of other world newspapers served more than three years in prison in the US after being convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice in 2007.

The Canadian-born British citizen was pardoned by then-president Donald Trump in 2019.

Neither Jeffrey Archer (left) nor Conrad Black - both Conservative peers and former convicts - have ever spoken in the House of Lords. Credit: PA

Lord Black was the former head of Hollinger International, which once owned the Daily Telegraph, Chicago Sun-Times, Jerusalem Post and hundreds of community papers in the US and Canada.

He was ennobled in 2001, having renounced his Canadian citizenship to become a Conservative peer.

His downfall came in 2007 when jurors in Chicago found that he and other Hollinger International executives swindled shareholders out of more than $6million (then worth around £3 million) of their money.

There are no records of Lord Black having spoken in the Lords and he had not voted since 2003.

Lord McFall also announced the retirement from the House of bestselling novelist Lord Archer of Weston-Super-Mare with effect from July 4.

He took his seat in the unelected chamber in 1992.

The former Tory peer had remained a member of the Lords despite being sentenced to four years in prison in 2001 after being found guilty of perjury and perverting the course of justice in a previous libel case when he sued a newspaper over reports about money he gave to a prostitute.

There are no records of Lord Archer having spoken in the chamber and he is shown to have voted just five times, the last in 2017 after a 17-year gap.

His only experience listed outside of Parliament was as a former president of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) – a post he held from 1997-99.

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