A SENIOR Tory who was at the centre of the partygate scandal is now a member of the House of Lords.

Wearing robes, Shaun Bailey was formally "introduced" as Baron Bailey of Paddington on Tuesday and swore the oath of allegiance.

He was flanked by his supporters, former Brexit Party MEP Baroness Fox of Buckley and Tory peer Lord Polak.

The failed former London mayoral candidate was nominated by Boris Johnson in his controversial resignation honours list.

But Bailey was under pressure to refuse after he and his campaign team were pictured at the so-called "jingle and mingle party" in Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ).

The party took place on December 14 2020 – at the height of the pandemic – when many parts of the UK were not allowed to socialise during lockdown.

When the photos of the party were published, Bailey apologised on Twitter, saying: “I gave a speech to my team to thank them... it was a serious error of judgment at a time when Londoners were making immense sacrifices to keep us all safe and I regret it wholeheartedly.”

Scotland Yard reopened their inquiry into the boozy gathering after the Mirror published a video of the event last month. Bailey didn’t feature in the video, claiming he "toodled off" to appear on BBC Newsnight.

The Liberal Democrats had called for Bailey to be prevented from joining the Lords.

READ MORE: Police launch new partygate probe as fresh lockdown breaches alleged

The party's deputy leader Daisy Cooper said: "Rishi Sunak needs to confirm he will call for honours to be stripped from anyone found to have broken the law.

"Anything less would make a complete mockery of his pledge to lead with integrity.

"He should also step in to stop Shaun Bailey from taking his seat as a peer while this investigation takes place."

Asked whether he should take up his seat in the Lords, the Prime Minister’s press secretary said: “That is a matter for the individual.”

Benjamin Gascoigne, 40, a former deputy chief of staff to Johnson, also took his seat on the Tory benches in the Lords on Tuesday.

He too wore the traditional scarlet robes and swore the oath of allegiance to the King.

Lord Gascoigne was supported by Tory former minister Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park and Conservative peer Lord Udny-Lister.

READ MORE: The House of Lords: £342 a day and an average age of 70

Former cabinet ministers Jacob Rees-Mogg and Kit Malthouse watched the proceedings.

Lord Goldsmith recently quit the front bench with a scathing attack on the Government’s environmental “apathy” after being criticised for his role in a campaign to undermine an investigation by the House of Commons Privileges Committee which found Johnson lied to MPs with his partygate denials.

More than half of Johnson’s peerage nominations were not accepted by the vetting watchdog, the House of Lords Appointments Commission, with Conservative MPs and close allies such as former culture secretary Nadine Dorries and former Foreign Office minister Nigel Adams thought to have been among those blocked due to rules around not being able to sit in both chambers.

Allies of the former premier accused Rishi Sunak of removing names from the final list, but Downing Street denied the claim.

Dorries announced her intention to quit as an MP ahead of the list being published, although she has yet to formally resign.

Johnson and Adams announced their decision to do the same shortly afterwards, with the former Tory leader departing in protest at the findings of the partygate probe.