HL Deb 09 January 1995 vol 560 cc12-3WA
The Earl of Lindsey

and Abingdon asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the purchase of any title normally associated with the peerage of the United Kingdom, such as Earl or Baron, entitles the holder to describe himself as a peer of the realm.

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Mackay of Clashfern)

There is nothing to prohibit any individual from describing himself as a peer of the realm, for any purpose not unlawful. However, the expression is properly applied to the holder of a peerage, whether of England, Scotland, Great Britain or the United Kingdom, in which case the holder is entitled to sit in the House of Lords, or of Ireland, in which case he has no such right. A peerage may be disclaimed for life but may not be alienated.