Andrew Lloyd Webber quits as Tory peer as he claims House of Lords demands more time than ever before

Kate McCann
Andrew Lloyd Webber - Copyright (c) 2016 Rex Features. No use without permission.

Andrew Lloyd Webber, the man behind musicals including Evita and The Phantom of the Opera, has quit the House of Lords in order to focus on his theatrical commitments. 

The Conservative life peer said in a letter to the Clerk of Parliament that someone who can devote more time than him should be handed the role instead. 

He was awarded the honour in 1997 by John Major but he has only voted in the House 42 times. 

Sunset Boulevard, one of Mr Lloyd Webber's musicals Credit: Joan Marcus

Most recently he drew criticism for voting through tax credit cuts. Prior to that he intervened in the gay marriage debate, speaking in favour of the change. 

His letter, published by The Mirror, states his intention to resign from the Chamber at midnight tonight. 

It reads:

"I have been privileged to be a member of the House for 20 years and resign with a heavy heart, but in the knowledge that what is expected from a member today is very different from what it was when I joined the House in 1997.

"I have a work schedule stretching ahead of me that is the busiest of my career to date.

"This means it would be impossible for me to regularly vote or properly consider the vitally important issues that the House of Lords will face as a consequence of Brexit .

"I feel my place should be taken by someone who can devote the time to the House of Lords that the current situation dictates.

"I have enjoyed my time in the House of Lords immensely and hope that my place can be taken by someone who can meet the demands and circumstances that the changing character of the House of Lords increasingly requires."

Two of his shows are currently touring America while others are being performed on Broadway.

He has an autobiography out in the Spring to coincide with his 70th birthday.

Sources close to the star denied his decision to resign is anything to do with criticism he received for voting in favour of cuts to Universal Credit.

The former peer Credit: WireImage

They said: "It's got nothing to do with that at all."

"He's very busy and will be in America quite a lot of the time and felt he wouldn't be able to attend the House of Lords as much as he might be asked to.

"That's the reason for it all. There's no other reason."

 

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