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Labour could axe all hereditary peers from House of Lords -report

01 Apr 2024 2 minute read
The House of Lords. Photo Roger Harris, House of Lords

Labour plans to axe all hereditary peers from the House of Lords, reports have suggested.

But the 92 hereditary lords who sit in Parliament’s upper chamber would still be allowed to retain their access to the Palace of Westminster as a sweetener, the Financial Times has reported.

This would allow them to still enjoy access to Parliament’s bars and subsidised restaurants.

Labour has previously vowed to abolish the unelected upper chamber of Parliament, with Sir Keir Starmer having branded it “undemocratic”.

Constitutional reforms championed by the party’s former prime minister Gordon Brown called for the Lords to be replaced with an elected chamber representative of the UK’s nations and regions, and won the backing of the current Labour leadership.

But in recent months the party has suggested it would delay its plans for reforming the upper chamber if it were elected to Government in order to prioritise other measures.

Reform

Now the party appears to have committed to some reform according to the FT, which reports Labour would act swiftly to remove the right of hereditary peers’ to sit in Lords.

The reforms, which it is understood are not finalised, would bring an end to the system of aristocratic families who have inherited their peerages holding elections among their numbers to join Parliament’s revising chamber.

Like all peers, the hereditary lords can claim a daily £342 attendance allowance.

There are more than 800 members of the House of Lords, with 92 seats set aside for hereditary peers since the last time the chamber faced reforms under the Blair government.

The number of hereditary peers who can sit in the Lords was limited in 1999, after Sir Tony trimmed more than 600 of their colleagues from the chamber.

The move could also be politically beneficial for Labour, as the majority of the hereditary peers, 47, are Conservative, while only four have the Labour whip.

A Labour spokesperson said: “Labour will abolish the House of Lords to ensure the UK’s second chamber better reflect our regions and nations. An incoming Labour government will inherit a mess and need to prioritise.

“The first term will take steps toward significant reform of the chamber.”


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Annibendod
Annibendod
8 days ago

What a mess of a policy. In the meantime, the PM of the day can continue to appoint peers. For goodness sakes! They’ve rowed back from Brown’s proposal which itself is a massively diluted version of his original plan. He proposed a Federal UK. Now his plan for the replacement of the Lords with an elected chamber of the nations and regions is coherent in that context but without it, oddly orphaned. Starmer is actually proposing his own gerrymandering. “Oh the Tories do that too” I hear you say. Yes they do indeed. So why do it at all then?… Read more »

David
David
8 days ago

Why not get rid of the monarchy (and its paraphanalia) at the same time.

Steve Woods
Steve Woods
8 days ago
Reply to  David

Monarchy belongs in fairy stories, not in a modern system of governance.

Che Guevara's Fist
Che Guevara's Fist
8 days ago

I don’t trust anything that comes out of Starmer’s mouth. He’s rolled back on so many of his promises it’s hard to keep up with that sly mouth of his.

Last edited 8 days ago by Che Guevara's Fist
Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
8 days ago

The Tories have and supporters have tried to get rid of the Welsh and Scotish governments What needs to be done if you are U K orientated is get rid of the house of Lords and have a second tier of Government which is ELECTED NOT APPOINTED AND HEREDITARY like all democratic countries

Gareth
Gareth
8 days ago

They can do what they like with the House of Lords, but in the long term, it will be of no benefit to us in Cymru, as we will still be ruled by the whim of Westminster and whatever is best for England.

Steve Woods
Steve Woods
8 days ago

Replacing the ‘Lords’ with a modern, 100 member maximum, fully-elected revising chamber is about a century overdue on this backward island off the western coast of Europe.

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
8 days ago

Labour said the same when in government the last time and did they? NO

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