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Labour call for Senate of the Nations and Regions to replace the House of Lords

04 Jul 2022 2 minute read
The House of Lords. Picture by the House of Lords (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

The Labour party have called for a new Senate of the Nations and Regions to replace the House of Lords.

The new proposals launched by Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar noted that the party recognised that “there is demand for change” in every nation and region of the UK.

In a speech hosted by the Fabian Society at Westminster, he called for “a legal duty to cooperate” between governments, and new joint governance councils.

“The House of Lords, in its current form, as an institution has no place in 21st century politics,” he said.

“It is unacceptable, and has been for far too long, to have unelected representatives wielding such power.

“The House of Lords must be abolished and replaced with an institution which better reflects the make-up and the identity of the United Kingdom.”

‘Disagreement’

Anas Sarwar said the elected senate would be “more reflective of modern Britain”.

“Members should be directly elected, with a mandate to represent their nation or region,” he said.

“And we must learn from international best practice so that our smallest regions, including those within Scotland, have a strong voice in this new institution.

“This bold reform would not only deliver better governance, but ensure that those wielding power on behalf of the people are chosen by the people – and sit in an institution which better reflects the diversity of this country.”

The Glasgow MSP said that devolution was currently “being undermined by bad actors – the SNP and the Tories”.

“But we can introduce change that will require more collaboration and undo the damage inflicted by the SNP and Tories,” he said.

Mr Sarwar said the joint governance councils “would be designed to heal the bad relationship that exists today and provide a constructive forum for dispute resolution”.

He said: “Too often, the current UK Government keeps the Scottish Government in the dark. Too often the current Scottish Government deliberately seeks disagreement with the UK Government.

“This does not lead to good governance – it undermines the Union and the Tories and the SNP do it day in, day out.”


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Rob
Rob
4 months ago

Regions such as the Midlands, East Anglia, West Country etc are internal regions within a nation called England. Just like North and South Wales are regions within a nation called Wales.
What is needed is greater divergence between the governance of England and the governance of the Untied Kingdom. I would suggest a devolved English Parliament, (perhaps with more regional accountability to reflect England’s size). The Upper Chamber should be reformed so that none of the four nations has a majority of representation

Wynn
Wynn
4 months ago

This is just another labour fudge to buy time. How on earth would the voice of Scotland or the voice of Wales be heard amongst the nine or more regions of England? This has no other purpose than to thwart Scottish and Welsh national aspirations. Devolution was supposed to sort the sort of problems unionists assume lie behind our aspirations, but they didn’t even devolve broadcasting. No offense, but if they can’t trust us with control over the flipping telly why should we put up with any of their suggestions? What happened to the federalism fairy they promised us before?… Read more »

Welsh_Siôn
Welsh_Siôn
4 months ago
Reply to  Wynn

Labour have been flogging this dead horse for almost a century. Give it a rest, Anas. It’s not as if you’re being original. In that past century of promises, vows, manifesto commitments to abolish the Upper House, how many have been kept? Zilch. Nada. Dim un. Nil. Nothing. Zero. And as for, “a legal duty to cooperate” between governments, and new joint governance councils.” A new UK Government of a different stripe (presumably in an *unreformed* Lower House) could easily abolish that with a stroke of the pen. What was it again, “Parliament can not bind its successors.” Sarwar doesn’t… Read more »

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
4 months ago

The best option would be the dissolution of the so-called ‘United Kingdom’ with the reunification of Ireland and with Welsh and Scottish independence.

After that the English can do whatever it wants with the House of Inbred Imbeciles.

Richard
Richard
4 months ago

Do Turkeys 🦃 vote 🗳 for Christmas?

Marc Davies
Marc Davies
4 months ago

Whatever your constitutional preference, the priority must be the establishment of an English Parliament. Talk of the Regions of England having some sort of Federal role is a smokescreen.

Adrian Meagher
Adrian Meagher
4 months ago
Reply to  Marc Davies

If England, like Wales, cannot even have its national saint’s day as a bank holiday, I think asking for an English Parliament would be a futile exercise.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
4 months ago
Reply to  Marc Davies

England has a bill of rights and everything they need (we should copy, plus Hywel Dda).
But no anglo politico dare tell their people, cos the gravy might stop flowing………

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
4 months ago

“What’s that clanging noise, Mam”? “Oh, it’s Labour kicking the can to oblivion, Kid”

Last edited 4 months ago by I.Humphrys
Arwyn
Arwyn
4 months ago

We need to pay heed to what’s happening here. Scottish Labour have long taken a hardline stance on independence. It’s cost them members and votes. This is in contrast to Welsh Labour – perhaps because it was seen as less of a threat here. Regardless, it means that Welsh Labour’s constitutional position isolates them within Labour. HQ is fully aligned with Scottish branch on this. They’re keeping Gordon Brown under wraps at the moment, but Starmer did say that a Labour Government would unilaterally legislate quickly to “save the Union” – no referendum. I bet this proposal is coming from… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Arwyn
Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
4 months ago

What a refreshing change! Anas Sarwar recognising the nations. With his constant sniping at the SNPs Independence ambitions, I always interpret this as a denial of his nations’ existence preferring the maintenance of the ‘one nation’ Union. So what’s he on about?

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