TWO NEW Catholic peers are to sit in the House of Lords after being included in the controversial dissolution honours list.
They are Albert "Jock" Stallard, 61, and Gerry Fitt, 57. It was widely predicted that Mr Fitt, former leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party in Northern Ireland, would go to the Lords after losing his West Belfast seat to Gerry Adams of Sinn Fein.
Mr Stallard's peerage was more problematic, as he was included on Mr Michael Fool' nomination list, which was hacked down from more than 20 to seven at Mrs Thatcher's insistence. Mr Stallard, a former whip who retired from Parliament at the last election,
was retained on the list when figures as prominent as Fred Willey and Douglas Jay were struck off. Another Catholic honoured in the dissolution list was Hugh Rossi, 56, Conservative MP for Haringey, who becomes a knight. Sir Hugh was a minister in the Northern Ireland office. The new peers brings the total of Catholics in the Lords to 80.