Ex-UK foreign minister Hague among House of Lords appointees

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LONDON (AP) — The British government has rewarded advisers, staff and defeated or retired lawmakers with seats in the House of Lords.

The prime minister's office on Thursday announced 45 new peers, including former Conservative Foreign Secretary William Hague, former Treasury chief Alistair Darling of the Labour Party and ex-Liberal Democrat leader Menzies Campbell.

Seats in Parliament's 800-strong unelected upper chamber are often awarded for political or public service, and the appointments often bring allegations of political cronyism. Several members of Prime Minister David Cameron's Downing Street staff — from a former spokesman to a gardener — received peerages or other honors.

The new lords include Michelle Mone, founder of the Ultimo lingerie firm, and former Conservative lawmaker Douglas Hogg, who once claimed taxpayer-funded expenses for cleaning the moat around his country mansion.

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