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Consumer champion Martin Lewis has revealed an application he made to become a member of the House of Lords was rejected.

Lewis, who is considered one of Britain’s most trusted people, said he believed his application for an interbank peerage had been turned down because he was being honest about the limited time he could dedicate to this role.

In an interview with the BBC’s Political Thinking podcast, Lewis expressed his desire for “more consensual and cooperative politics”.

The 50-year-old founder of the Money Saving Expert website has been increasingly vocal in recent months on behalf of financially strained consumers and households amid runaway inflation and a cost of living crisis .

“I never attack Tories, I attack government policy,” he said.

He told the podcast, hosted by political journalist Nick Robinson, that he was a member of the Liberal Democrats until he was 24, but has been a floating voter ever since.

He said his bid to become an independent peer was rejected by the House of Lords Appointments Committee.

When asked if he wanted a peerage, he replied, “I just got turned down again a few weeks ago, actually.” He added, “I did this really dumb thing and was honest in the interview.”

He said he told the commission that he could only offer a limited number of hours. “I’m very busy with my job, but mostly I have a nine-year-old daughter and until she’s 13, my most important job from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the evening is to be with her and to put her to bed.

“I would see my role as learning for three to five years, with limited input, and then gradually over the next five to 10 years, spending more time in the House of Lords.”

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Lewis suggested this could have been a stumbling block for his candidacy, although he said the commission had invited him to apply again in the future.

“I don’t think I was willing to give them the time they felt they needed to be in the Lords.”

In an extensive interview, Lewis also revealed that he had been the victim of anti-Semitic slurs as a schoolboy in Chester: “There were two Jews in the year. And my nickname was Jewish. And originally, I think, it was something like [the actor and comedian] Jerry Lewis or something, something a little warmer. And then, just in the way it works, it got shortened.

A spokesperson for the House of Lords told the BBC that the appointments were “not determined on the basis of solicitude or family circumstances” and that “some very good candidates” had been rejected.

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