Stuffing the House of Lords with ‘cronies’ is not the way to reform second chamber – ERS

Posted on the 17th December 2019

  • Statement from the Electoral Reform Society, for immediate release, 17thDecember
  • Contact Jon Narcross, Communications Officer on [email protected]/ 07794728820 for bids.

Commenting on reports that the Prime Minister is planning to ‘pack’ the second chamber with new (pro-Brexit) Lords [1], Darren Hughes, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said:

“The way to get a revising chamber that reflects all opinions and walks of life isn’t to use cronyism, but to move to a much smaller, elected second house. The government should bring forward legislation to get on with this now.

“As it is, the House of Lords is clearly not fit for purpose. We’ve seen MPs stand down or lose their seats and get a life pass to vote on our laws.

“It’s no wonder the public see the unelected Lords as a private members’ club on the river Thames. The public won’t keep putting up with it.

“Only China has a bigger chamber, and the biggest group are there through their political connections. They can claim £305 a day tax-free for attending this private members’ club.

“This is yet another sign that governments and peers take the second chamber for a ride. If you vote on our laws, you should be chosen by those affected by those laws. It’s time for an overhaul to sort out this political stitch-up.”

It follows the news that former MP Nicky Morgan has been appointed as a peer to serve as a minister, after standing down as an MP [2].

The government are reported to be looking at options for Lords reform, reporting back within the year [3]. The ERS support a smaller, proportionally-elected second chamber that reflects the whole of the UK.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Locked out of the Lords: ERS Briefing on the State of the Second Chamber:
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

[1] https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/12/16/tories-appoint-brexit-supporting-experts-peers-bid-balance-remainiac/

[2] https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/nick-morgan-stays-culture-secretary-house-of-lords_uk_5df750eee4b047e8889ff9cb

[3https://www.ft.com/content/dc8f0c22-201d-11ea-92da-f0c92e957a96

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