‘Broken’ honours system: Petition to scrap and replace the Lords hits 100,000 signatures

Posted on the 31st December 2019

  • Statement from the Electoral Reform Society, for immediate release, 31st December

A petition [1] to scrap and replace the unelected House of Lords has hit 100,000 signatures in just two weeks, amid what campaigners describe as a ‘rolling cronyism scandal’ in the honours system. 

It follows defeated MP Zac Goldsmith joining the unelected Lords, and Nicky Morgan keeping a cabinet post despite by becoming a Baroness – despite ‘standing down’ from Parliament.

There are rumours other ex-MPs could join the second chamber – adding yet more party appointees to the near-800 member ‘private members club’.

Jess Blair, a director of the Electoral Reform Society, said:

“”In just a couple of weeks over 100,000 people have said ‘enough is enough’ – ministers must end the cronyism in the unelected House of Lords. This private members’ club is in urgent need of an overhaul.

“It’s time to stop the Christmas handouts to defeated MPs and party donors, and move to a fairly elected revising chamber that represents the whole of the UK.

“In 2020, the government must move towards real democracy, put a stop to hereditary and unelected power – and finally ensure that all legislators are accountable. The calls for reform are growing by the day. Let’s get on with it.”

The ERS are calling for the government’s planned ‘Democracy Commission’ to set out clear plans for overhauling the unelected Lords [2].


Read the ERS’ September briefing on the Lords: https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Locked-out-of-the-Lords-ERS-Briefing-on-the-State-of-the-Second-Chamber-September-2019-.pdf 

Notes to Editors

[1] https://www.change.org/p/boris-johnson-no-more-unelected-peers-scrap-and-replace-the-house-of-lords-now-8a773851-b785-4652-9dc5-79b07a0de8d4?recruited_by_id=f9a6f5a0-49ef-0130-1257-3c764e044346

[2] https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/latest-news-and-research/media-centre/press-releases/conservative-manifesto-ers-warn-against-undemocratic-voter-id-plans-but-welcome-u-turn-on-pledge-to-impose-first-past-the-post/

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