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Ex-lingerie boss Michelle Mone takes seat in House of Lords

Lingerie entrepreneur Michelle Mone has taken her seat as a Conservative peer in the House of Lords after being appointed start-up business tsar by David Cameron.

Wearing the usual red robe, Baroness Mone of Mayfair was flanked by her supporters, work and pensions minister Lord Freud and Tory peer Baroness Morris of Bolton, for the short introduction ceremony.

She swore the oath of allegiance to the Queen before a crowded chamber and packed public gallery ahead of question time in the Lords.

The ceremony took place as it was disclosed that Lady Mone's MJM International company gave the Prime Minister a gift of clothing last year. The present last August was retained by the Cabinet Office, as its value was over the £140 limit for the PM to keep gifts.

Also on the list, released by 10 Downing Street, of presents which had to be given up by the PM were a book and bookends from US president Barack Obama, a magnifying glass from former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and whisky and a pair of boots from Australia's ex-PM Tony Abbott.

Lady Mone founded the bra and underwear business Ultimo Brands in 1996 but announced she had left the firm in August as her political and other business interests grew.

The 44-year-old, who grew up in the east end of Glasgow, is one of 45 new peers announced by Mr Cameron in August. Over half the new intake are Conservatives, prompting accusations of "cronyism" from critics of the appointment process.

The growth in the size of the Lords to more than 800 members has sparked fresh demands for reform of the upper House.

Earlier Lord Gilbert of Panteg, deputy chairman of the Conservative party and director of campaigning in the 2015 general election, also took his seat in the Lords.

He was flanked by Lord Taylor of Holbeach and Lord Cooper of Windrush as he swore the oath of allegiance to the Queen.

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