Businessman Yevgeny Lebedev attended his first meeting of the House of Lords of the British Parliament on November 19. Receiving the title caused a flurry of discussions, both in Russia and in Britain. In London, accusations are heard of almost corruption of the Prime Minister, on whose recommendation Lebedev Jr. became a peer (the publications that he owns together with his father - the liberal The Independent and the conservative The Evening Standard - supported Johnson) ... In Russia they are perplexed: why was it considered possible in Great Britain to call him a Baron not only of Hampton, but also of Siberia?
“Because he expressed such a desire,” simply explains Prince Nikita Lobanov-Rostovsky, who lives in London and is personally acquainted with both Lebedevs, both with his son and with his father. - This is the tradition. And this does not mean at all that he has the right to territory. So, the Duke of Burmese has nothing to do with the already non-existent state of Burma.
They say that Yevgeny himself, who turned 40 in May, at first wanted to be called Moscow (by his place of birth), but this required an agreement with the Kremlin. And for the Siberian, it turns out, this was not required.
Evgeny Lebedev came to Foggy Albion at the age of 7. Since then he has lived in England. In 2010, he received British citizenship, but he did not give up Russian citizenship either.
- This is a brilliant idea of Lebedev Sr., - says Nikita Lobanov-Rostovsky, pointing out the piquancy of the situation. - Having become a banker, he made a bet on this country, knowing its laws perfectly, since he was once a KGB resident here and worked against Great Britain. He transferred part of his capital here and, in order to take root, began with the obvious: he bought up several large newspapers. And in order to closely communicate with the elite, he hired ex-British Treasury Secretary George Osborne, who was friends with the then Prime Minister David Cameron and the current one, Boris Johnson, as the chief editor of the London Evening Standard. By the way, they are all (like me, by the way) members of the exclusive Bullingdon Club. Thus, the son and father entered, according to Soviet terminology, the "Politburo" of the United Kingdom. So Lebedev is one of the few who brilliantly achieved the goal that he set for himself.
A peer for life can sit in the House of Lords until death, but he cannot inherit the title. Today the House of Lords (821 people) is 64% of the hereditary peers of the United Kingdom and 36% of those who have been granted this title. This is the upper chamber, but, unlike the Federation Council of the Russian Federation, it does not approve laws, but only discusses those that come there from the House of Commons. If there are comments, the discussion goes back to the lower house.