UK Politics

Former Archbishop of York to get peerage ‘imminently’ after outrage he didn’t get one automatically


John Sentamu is to be given a life peerage "imminently" after outrage Britain's first black archbishop was not given one automatically, it has been claimed.

The former Archbishop of York, 71, was expected to be given a peerage after he stepped down on 7 June so he could sit in the House of Lords in a personal capacity.

But despite his predecessor Lord Hope, and ex-Archbishops of Canterbury Rowan Williams and George Carey being ennobled, the government has yet to announce Mr Sentamu's seat in the Lords, prompting accusations of "institutional prejudice".

Claims in the Sunday Times that Number 10 was trying to reduce numbers in the Lords were met with fury when it emerged Prime Minister Boris Johnson was giving his own brother, Jo, a seat.

Dean of York Minster Vivienne Faull (centre) and Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu following the Christmas Day service
Image: Mr Sentamu was described as 'a great archbishop' by former Conservative cabinet minister David Davis

Now Downing Street appears to have U-turned, with a Whitehall source saying late on Sunday that Mr Sentamu's peerage is "imminent".


They claimed the delay was down to a procedural hold up with the House of Lords Appointments Commission.

"He was put forward for a peerage but the approval process is still ongoing," the source added.

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The Sunday Times originally reported Mr Sentamu was told he was in line for a peerage – only to be informed a month later he would not be getting one.

At the time, his successor Stephen Cottrell, who was enthroned on Sunday, tweeted: "Disturbed to find out today that whether it be through negligence or intent my predecessor + Sentamu has not been given the peerage that has been the custom for many years.

He was replaced by Stephen Cottrell on Sunday, who said he was 'disturbed' by claims Mr Sentamu was being denied a peerage
Image: He was replaced by StephenRead More – Source