- Statement from the Electoral Reform Society, for immediate release Tuesday 4th August 2020.
A petition to scrap and replace the unelected House of Lords with a PR-elected chamber has reached 350,000 signatures  following the Prime Minister’s widely-criticised move to pack the chamber with 36 new peers.
On Sunday the Change.org petition by the Electoral Reform Society stood at around 175,000 signatures – and has since doubled in size, following growing public anger over the decision to stuff the legislature with the PM’s family and friends.
Darren Hughes, Chief Executive of the ERS, said:
“Anger is growing across the spectrum over these cronyistic appointments.
“With the PM appointing friends, family members and ex-MPs to the chamber, voters are calling out the unelected house for what it is: a private member’s club that needs replacing with something fit for purpose. The public are tired of our legislature being used as a rewards system for the government’s pals.
“It’s time for the PM to make good on his call to ‘address’ the size of the chamber and to replace it with a fairly-elected upper house that voters deserve. Pressure is building, and it’s time for the government to seize the mantle of reform for this corrupting chamber at last.”
Notes to Editors
The 36 new peers tip the number of peers over the 800 mark, at a likely cost of £1.1m a year based on the average expenses claim, the ERS says. Peers can usually claim £323 a day tax-free – for the rest of their lives – for signing into the Lords.
The world’s press has roundly mocked the PM’s move.
Democracy campaigners believe the new appointments will make a ‘mockery’ of supposed efforts in the chamber to keep numbers down.
It comes as ERS research reveals that London and the South East are ‘dramatically over-represented’ in the second house, a finding exacerbated by the latest spate of appointments.
The ERS wants to see a far smaller, PR-elected Senate of the Nations and Regions to replace the Lords.