MP calls for end to practice of allowing Lords to stand for election at Senedd and Holyrood
An MP has called for an end to the practice of allowing Lords to stand for election at the Senedd or Holyrood.
Politicians made peers in the House of Lords are not allowed to stand for election at the House of Commons.
Yet they are allowed to stand for elections in the Welsh and Scottish parliaments. Wales’ current Health Minister, Eluned Morgan, and one of the favourites to become the next First Minister, has been a life peer in the House of Lords since 2011.
The former Llywydd of the Senedd, Dafydd Elis-Thomas, was made a life peer in 1992.
But SNP MP for Edinburgh East Tommy Sheppard who is the party’s spokesperson on constitutional issues at Westminster said that it was time to close what he called a “constitutional loophole”.
“Its very existence is a stain on our democracy, one that can only be wiped by abolishing the upper house,” he told the Scottish National newspaper.
“It smacks of arrogance and entitlement that unelected peers can dip in and out of the Lords, choosing when they want to cash in on £332 a day on top of their Holyrood or Senedd salaries.
“With the Tories, Labour, and Liberal Democrats all having a track record in standing their unelected chums for election, there is no hope of this changing under Westminster control.
“It’s sadly just one part of this broken Westminster system, and one we look forward to escaping with independence.”
Professor Meg Russell, the director of the Constitution Unit at University College London, however said that the rule was in place because the House of Lords was supposed to act as a check on the House of Commons.
The House of Lords did not scrutinise legislation from the Senedd and Holyrood in the same way, she said.
“The devolved legislatures are clearly entirely separate institutions to Westminster, so the same in principle objection does not apply,” she said.
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