‘Rewards for failure’ – Liz Truss resignation honours to create new peers while Tories oppose expanded Senedd
Plans for Liz Truss to be given the power to create new House of Lords peers as part of her “resignation honours” – while Conservatives continue to oppose expanding the Senedd – have been criticised as “rewards for failure”.
The new batch of peers will come on top of Boris Johnson’s resignation honours, and the 25 new Lords announced by the UK Government last month.
It means that tens of new peers will be added to the swelling ranks of the House of Lords which already has around 800 sitting members.
Meanwhile, plans included in the Welsh Government co-operation agreement with Plaid Cymru to add just 36 new members to the Senedd – bringing the total to 96 – are opposed by the Conservative Party.
Responding to the news that Liz Truss would be able to create new peers as part of her resignation honours, despite only serving for 44 days, the Electoral Reform Society said they amounted to “rewards for failure”.
Willie Sullivan, Senior Director at the Electoral Reform Society, said: “A seat in the House of Lords should not be a reward for failure. It’s a lifetime appointment to make our laws, not a gift to be handed out by a prime minister as they head out the door.
“If Liz Truss chooses to pack the Lords with new peers on leaving office, it will only further damage Westminster’s legitimacy at a time when public faith in politics is already stretched to the limit.
“We’re still waiting for Boris Johnson’s resignation honours to be announced, with a second Truss list added to the pile we could be seeing a bumper batch of appointments filling the already bloated house even more ex-MPs, donors and political allies.
“We need a smaller, elected House of Lords, where lawmakers are chosen by the people they serve not hand-picked by the prime minister of the day. It’s time to end this farce and deliver the democratic second chamber our country needs.”
Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies has repeatedly criticised the idea of more Senedd Members, saying last month: “Putting 36 more Senedd Members in Cardiff Bay would cost us £100 million in the first five years alone. Let’s fund our NHS instead.”
The UK Government have also previously called for a referendum on expanding the Senedd.
First Minister Mark Drakeford has already accused the Conservatives of complaining about the expansion of the Senedd on one hand while increasing the number of peers in the House of Lords on the other.
Earlier this year he asked: “Every nine months, the Prime Minister appoints more people to the House of Lords than we propose adding to the membership of the Senedd—every nine months.
“Where’s the referendum on that, I wonder?”
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