The Prime Minister is set to pack the House of Lords with yet more unelected peers. And discontent is growing.
As the Mirror reported this week, anger is rising at Boris Johnson’s plan to stuff the chamber with appointees.
There is concern across the spectrum. The conservative-leaning Spectator today points out:
“It is no credit to British democracy that we have the second largest legislative chamber in the world. The only one larger than the 792-strong House of Lords is the 2,980-member Chinese National People’s Congress.
“In the coming days the House of Lords will grow even bigger as the Prime Minister announces another batch of peerages. We can expect a bad-tempered reaction if, as expected, a slew of Brexit campaigners such as Ian Botham are included while former speaker John Bercow is left out.”
The magazine cites ERS research showing that: “It is genuine participation that matters, and in this some have a lamentable record. The Electoral Reform Society found that in the 2016/17 session, 115 peers failed to speak in a single debate — and yet they claimed £1.3 million in expenses between them.”
Even the Lords themselves are getting restless. The PM’s peers list will reverse years of attempts to check numbers, according to the Lord Speaker, as we revealed this week.
Now we hear that the honours list is likely to be published in the next week, government sources have told the Mail.
Voters are not happy about the bloated and unelected state of the House of Lords.
Nearly 200,000 have signed a petition calling for an overhaul – for it to be scrapped and replaced with a proportionally-elected second chamber that is fit for purpose: rather than a private member’s club for the PM’s pals.
Sign it here – and let’s get this to 200,000 signatures.