The government is set to appoint dozens of new Lords-for-life

Electoral Reform Society
Author:
Electoral Reform Society

Posted on the 22nd June 2020

The government is planning to appoint up to 30 new unelected Lords this year – including Conservative donors and party figures, according to The Times.

The paper reveals today:

“Donors understood to be on the list include Michael Spencer, a billionaire financier who has served as Tory treasurer, Peter Cruddas, who has given more than £3 million since 2007, and Jon Moynihan, a multimillionaire venture capitalist who chaired the Vote Leave finance committee.”

At 800 members, the unelected House of Lords is already the most bloated chamber in the developed world. However, the real problem is not just its size but the fact that governments find that – for all the talk of ‘ending cronyism’ – the urge to appoint party donors and loyalists is irresistible.

Since the election, we’ve already seen MPs stand down or lose their seats and get a life pass to vote on our laws. It is no wonder the public see the unelected Lords as a private members’ club on the river Thames.

Voters find this situation intolerable. The repeated suggestions of reforming the second chamber must be implemented.

The Conservative manifesto pledges to level up Britain and strengthen democracy. The unelected Lords is simply incompatible with this vision.

30 more peers claiming £323 a day – tax-free – could cost £1.4m extra in expenses per year. We cannot continue to see governments and peers take the second chamber for a ride.

Those who vote on our laws, must be accountable to those affected by those laws.

It’s long past time for an overhaul of this House of Cronies, and hand power to the nations and regions of the UK. These jobs-for-life make a mockery of democracy. It’s time for an overhaul.

Over 170,000 people have signed the ERS’ petition to scrap and replace the Lords since the General Election. Sign it here.

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

 

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