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Labour criticised for ‘U-turning’ on plans to abolish the House of Lords

08 Jun 2024 3 minute read
The House of Lords. Photo Roger Harris, House of Lords

Labour has faced criticism for “U-turning” on its previous proposals to abolish the House of Lords.

During his 2020 leadership campaign, Sir Keir Starmer promised to abolish the House of Lords, but according to reports in The Times the Labour leader appears to have abandoned this.

According to the newspaper, Labour’s election manifesto – which was agreed at the party’s closed-doors Clause V meeting on Friday – will include plans to introduce an age limit for peers and scrap new hereditary roles.

In 2022, he backed a report drawn up by former prime minister Gordon Brown that sets out plans for a regionally elected chamber that is around a quarter the size of now.

At the time, the Labour leader said he would abolish the “indefensible” House of Lords “as quickly as possible”, ideally within the first term of a Labour government.

‘Allergic’

Left-wing campaign group Momentum accused the Labour leadership of promising change but being “allergic” to following through with it.

Under the proposals, peers will be able to serve until they are 80 years old, or until the end of the parliament in which they reach that age.

A ban on new hereditary peers is also suggested in a bid to reduce the size of the House.

A spokesperson for Momentum said: “This is yet another disappointing Starmer U-turn.

“The House of Lords is an anti-democratic institution well past its sell-by date. Years of Tory cronyism underline the need to scrap a system based on patronage among our political elite.

“Keir was right to pledge to abolish it in 2020 and again in 2022, following strong, detailed proposals from Gordon Brown. But once again, major progressive reforms have been junked by a Labour Leadership which rightly pledges change, but seems allergic to enacting it.”

Fire-and-rehire

This comes as Unite, one of the UK’s largest trade unions, declined to endorse the manifesto.

Sources told the PA news agency that Labour’s stance on practices like fire-and-rehire meant the affiliated union could not support its policy platform

Momentum also said it was “deeply disappointed” the party had not committed to free school meals or scrapping the two-child benefit cap.

“We need to kick out not just the Tories, but Tory policies too,” a spokesperson said.

Speaking at a 3 Lock Brewing Company in Camden on Saturday, Sir Keir said there “won’t be any surprises on tax” in Labour’s manifesto.

He added: “We finalised our manifesto yesterday, which was a great moment because at the end of the meeting it was acclaimed by everybody in the meeting.”

“I want the 2024 manifesto to be a story as it is about the future of the country, and to provide the winning platform for that election as we go into it,” he said.


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
17 hours ago

It’s not called His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition for nothing…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
8 minutes ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

No ‘Welsh’ Bishops and no speaking by ‘Welsh’ Lords on devolved matters !

Why are we there, have you found out yet Ms Lady Smith of ‘Poor’ Llanfaes…?

Catalina Bay to the House of Lords…

Mawkernewek
17 hours ago

Wasn’t the last time a new hereditary peer was created Macmillan during Thatcher’s premiership?

Mawkernewek
17 hours ago

Introducing an age limit for peers to get rid of any who turn socialist in their old age and create vacancies for more cronies?

Rob
Rob
16 hours ago

The status quo are not going to change the status quo.

Morfudd ap Haul
Morfudd ap Haul
16 hours ago

Bring back hereditary peers to the House of Lords.

Richard
Richard
16 hours ago

A Promise a Day Keeps Starmer At Bay 🇬🇧

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
16 hours ago

Time for a new movement in Wales.

Last edited 16 hours ago by Mr Williams
Mr Williams
Mr Williams
16 hours ago

I really can’t take Labour seriously anymore, and I used to be a supporter! U-turns galore, anti-Semitism, the mess they have made of education here, refusing to implement the recommendations of the committee on the future of Wales constitution (that they set up!), ignoring emails I sent to my Labour AS etc, etc.

Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
15 hours ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

As for your comment on Anti Semitism you are probably not aware that an all time record number of Jewish members have been expelled for the Labour party under Starmers leadership.

Last edited 15 hours ago by Johnny Gamble
Mr Williams
Mr Williams
4 hours ago
Reply to  Johnny Gamble

Disgraceful, isn’t it.

Riki
Riki
6 hours ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

If I steal your home, and you call me bad names, which is worse? Free Palestine!

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
16 minutes ago
Reply to  Riki

So are you seriously suggesting a Jewish person living in Wales can be abused because of a war in another country? Two State Solution!

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
14 hours ago

What’s new? Labour are no different to the Tories – especially where Cymru is concerned – but on many other issues too. It’s finally time for the Welsh public to realise this and vote for a party that will put Cymru first instead. That party? Plaid Cymru.

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
14 hours ago

I have lost count of the number of pledges, promises and proposals that mr keir starmer has u-turned on.

Boris johnson lied about a lot of things, but he was an idiot and wasn’t aware of being a liar.

Keir starmer lied about many things, he is fully aware he is doing so which makes him deceitful and doesn’t deserve to be prime minister!

Riki
Riki
6 hours ago

Well, this has surprised me, not! Politicians being politicians. They are currently the worst payed actors on the planet!

hdavies15
hdavies15
2 hours ago

Labour need to retain the “Upper House”. They need some place to shove all their dead wood !

Rick Bull
Rick Bull
2 hours ago

No government can be trusted with the constitution. Because there isn’t one. It’s time for a written constitution that can’t be overturned on a whim by whichever desperate populist is squatting in the flea-infested prison (source:Liz) that’s Number 10.

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