New Lords appointments are a ‘nail in the coffin’ for claims of the chamber’s independence

Posted on the 31st July 2020

  • Statement from the Electoral Reform Society, for immediate release. Contact Josiah on 07717211630 / [email protected] for more comment or to arrange an interview

Commenting on the 36 new appointments to the House of Lords [1], Darren Hughes, Chief Executive of the UK’s leading democracy campaign group the ERS said:

“Based on the average claim of a peer, the 36 new peers are likely to cost around £1.1m a year in expenses from the taxpayer [2].

“By appointing a host of ex-MPs, party loyalists and his own brother, the PM is inviting total derision. That he can get away with it shows what a private member’s club this house is.

“The Lords was already the largest second chamber in the world. There are now over 800 unelected peers, voting on our laws for life.

“Is packing the Lords with party loyalists really a priority, as a pandemic rages across the world? This move is an absolute insult to voters. This is making a mockery of democracy.

“Today marks a nail in the coffin for the idea that the Lords is some kind of independent chamber of experts. It is a house of cronies and party loyalists – we need to see it scrapped and replaced with a fair-elected chamber that’s fit for a democracy.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

[1] Full list: https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/full-list-the-36-new-peers

[2] The Sunday Times found that the average tax-free payment to peers in the year to March 2019 was £30,827. 36x £30,827 = £1,109,772 a year.

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