New peers announced for Britain's House of Lords
LONDON – Celebrity divorce lawyer Fiona Shackleton is among more than 50 new peers appointed to Britain's House of Lords Friday.
Prime Minister David Cameron's office said Queen Elizabeth II would elevate Shackleton and 53 others to Parliament's unelected upper chamber.
Shackleton has handled high-profile divorce cases for Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Paul McCartney.
She will sit on the Conservative side of the upper chamber, which has the power to amend legislation approved by the elected House of Commons.
The government also announced a peerage for Julian Fellowes, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of "Gosford Park" and the TV series "Downton Abbey."
New Labour Party peers include journalist and broadcaster Joan Bakewell and former lawmaker Oona King.
The list of new peers could revive a scandal about donations to political parties because it includes individuals who were questioned in 2007 by police looking into whether loans were made in return for peerages.
No charges were ever filed, but the investigation into the so-called "cash for honors" scandal raised questions about political funding.
For centuries the House of Lords was occupied by hereditary aristocrats, but Prime Minister Tony Blair's government abolished their right to sit in Parliament, replacing them with appointees known as life peers, who do not pass their place in the House of Lords on to their children.
Moves to create a wholly or partly elected upper chamber — promised by Blair's Labour government when it was elected in 1997 — have stalled.