According to Wikipedia, Irene Adams (who had served as her husband's secretary during his time as MP) won Paisley North by-election on his death in 1990. She employed her daughter and son-in-law to work in her constituency office.
When the constituency was absorbed into Paisley and Renfrewshire North she was persuaded to stand down with the promise of a peerage, in order to allow sitting West Renfrewshire MP Jim Sheridan to be selected to fight in the May 2005 election.
On 13 May 2005 it was announced that she would be created an aristocrat, and was created Baroness Adams of Craigielea, on 28 June of that year.
Retrospectively she was ordered to repay over £5,000 worth of misclaimed expenses when the Telegraph let out the secrets of the extent of our MPs' thieving.
So first of all I'm concerned that Adams managed to get herself elevated to the aristocracy by agreeing to the party’s requests, or demands, that she stand down to make way for Sheridan the Great Britain Football Team manager! It's accepting a bribe really. That is most certainly not what peerages should be about.
Our Irene, sorry, I should speak of her with due deference, what with her being my social better... Her Aristocratic Nobleness the Baroness Adams came to the attention of the Telegraph’s investigations in 2009 when it reported that she had managed to get her grubby noble mitts on around £200,000 in the 30 months that she had been in the aristocratic chamber, despite having only spoken once.
When the Telegraph had the temerity to ask her about how she managed to cost the country so much for absolutely no return whatsoever, she refused to speak to them, saying she was in interested.
Aww bless! The common people at the Telegraph just wouldn't have a clue how to interest someone of the upper classes. Munguin didn't even try to contact her (he knows his place), although he covered her story, here.
I’d say that one intervention, her set piece maiden speech was a bloody expensive piece of democracy, but of course there is nothing democratic about the House of Lords, even less so when the ennobled personage is not there on any merit at all, but simply because the party wanted shot of her.
Well she’s back in the news again bless her, because of all the Scottish Labour Lords, guess what, totally undeterred by any criticism, she is the most expensive, despite still not having said diddly squat since that first speech. Last year she cost us £53,000 for absolutely NOTHING.
Of course she is not the only one… just the most expensive and most useless one.
How long are we going to have to pay our share of this anachronistic waste of time and money?
Let’s shut the place down and sack them all. If they want to keep their toy town titles let them. Just let them use them to get jobs or try getting Iain Duncan Smith to part with some dole money.