Lord Foster of Thames Bank has given up his seat in the House of Lords in order to hold on to his non-resident tax status, it was revealed today
He was the fifth peer to quit the Upper House ahead of a deadline of midnight tonight after which members will have to become fully UK-resident for tax purposes.
The move follows a new requirement in this year’s Constitutional Reform and Governance Act for peers to pay tax on their worldwide earnings.
A three-month period during which they could instead permanently exclude themselves from the Lords expires today.
Norman Foster was raised to the peerage in 1999 and sat as a crossbencher. Though he retains his title he will no longer be able to attend the Lords or vote on legislation.
A spokesman for the practice said: ‘Lord Foster left the United Kingdom several years ago with his family to live in Switzerland. This is common knowledge. He has accordingly declared this fact under Section 42 of CRGA 2010.’
It was revealed yesterday that Conservative peers Lord Bagri, Lord McAlpine and Lord Laidlaw of Rothiemay had joined cross-bencher Baroness Dunn in informing the Lords authorities that they were leaving the House.
There have been long-running controversies surrounding some wealthy peers who sit in the House of Lords but are non-domiciled for tax purposes.
Conservative Party deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft announced earlier this year that he was giving up his non-dom status.
A House of Lords spokeswoman said Lord Foster - whose Khan Shatyr entertainment centre in Kazakhstan opened two days ago - wrote yesterday evening to Clerk of the Parliaments Michael Pownall to give up his membership.
Last week the practice landed outline planning permission for a 600-bed ‘health campus’, on the former Withington Hospital site, in West Didsbury, Manchester.