Currently, there are around 800 members of the House of Lords, more than the 650 MPs elected into the House of Commons. Now Edinburgh East MP Tommy Sheppard has called for the upper chamber to be abolished claiming it “exemplifies the archaic and undemocratic nature of the British state.”
He said: “The House of Lords is a cosy club, the executive committee of the British establishment.
“It is a phenomenon which becomes worse with examination.
“Across the UK, the Lords are an unrepresentative bunch.”
Mr Sheppard stressed that because “a clear majority of members” of the chamber “are not elected, or accountable, to anyone” then the Lords should be a “source of shame”.
He added: “It undermines the UK when it talks about abuses of governments in other parts of the world.”
The SNP MP also cited recent figures which said almost three in five peers went to a private school, compared to just five percent of the general population with 14 percent attending just one private school, Eton College.
The SNP House of Commons spokesman, continued: “People get there through political favours and patronage.
“They are paid for life by the taxpayer for just turning up.
“It could be reformed and whilst we are part of the UK, we will not stand in the way of change although the pace is glacial.
“But a better answer is to set up a new country and do it better.
“If we win our political independence, we will have the power to change every aspect of how our lives are rules.
“To create our own institutions based on democracy, transparency and accountability.”
It comes after FOI requests revealed peers were outraged by a cut to their £323 daily allowance to £162.
The payment is made for those who “actively participate” in debates, as part of the changed response to Parliament’s working hours.
A House of Lords spokesman said the House of Lords was a “highly effective and busy Chamber, performing a vital role of improving legislation and holding the Government to account.”
Published at Mon, 26 Oct 2020 19:00:00 +0000