England cricketing hero Sir Ian Botham has made his first appearance at a different kind of Lords – but only after “rain stopped play”.
Lord Botham donned the traditional scarlet and ermine-trimmed robe for his brief formal introduction ceremony as a peer in the House of Lords.
The Brexit backer, more used to the surroundings of Lord’s Cricket Ground, swore the oath of allegiance to the Queen as part of the ceremony.
Technical problems delayed the start of proceedings, with Lord Speaker Lord Fowler telling peers: “It means at the moment no words can be heard outside the House, which is a slight disadvantage.”
After consultations with clerks, Lord Fowler prompted groans and laughs by saying: “I think rain has stopped play just for the moment.”
They pressed on with the introductions, with Lord Botham supported by Tory peer Lord Price and former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales Lord Judge, an independent crossbencher.
The clerk referred to him as Baron Botham of Ravensworth, his home village, however he will be known as Lord Botham.
Lord Botham told the chamber: “I, Ian Lord Botham, do swear by almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and her successors, according to the law. So help me God.”
He will sit as a non-party political crossbench peer.
In August, Boris Johnson nominated 36 new peers in his dissolution honours list – including Lord Botham.
The list, which also included the Prime Minister’s brother Jo Johnson and newspaper proprietor Evgeny Lebedev, prompted accusations of “cronyism” and of failing to respect efforts to reduce the number of peers sitting in Parliament.
Lord Botham enjoyed a glittering cricket career, at one stage becoming England’s leading wicket-taker in tests, and is also known for his TV and charity work.
Tory peer Lord Moylan was also introduced on Monday.
He served as airport adviser to Boris Johnson when he was London mayor.