Labour would aim to abolish the House of Lords says Starmer
The House of Lords continues to face criticism after two new hereditary peers were granted on Wednesday.
A by-election was held to replace members after Lord Hylton’s retirement and Lord Palmer’s death earlier this year.
In total, 13 Lords put their names forward for the positions, entitled by their family names and titles, with Lord Meston and Lord De Clifford being elected with 11 and five votes respectively.
Their new positions will entitle them to £323 every day they complete parliamentary work in the House.
The Electoral Reform Society said the election “throws into stark relief the ongoing absurdity of the current House of Lords”.
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Senior Director Willie Sullivan said: “Two men have effectively each been given a life-long job voting in parliament and affecting our laws due to the circumstances of their birth.
“These sham by-elections are merely a fig leaf covering an undemocratic and antiquated system not fit for a 21st-century democracy.”
Conservative constitutional expert Lord Norton previously claimed that the by-election process should be stopped to allow the number of peers to reduce.
There are currently around 780 members of the upper chamber, many of whom are life peers appointed by the Monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister. In addition to 92 hereditary peers and 26 bishops and archbishops of the Church of England.
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Sir Keir Starmer has pledged to axe hereditary peers as part of reforms to help modernise the House of Lords should he win the next general election.
A senior Labour source told the Times in July: “We are looking at a two-stage reform process, abolishing the hereditary by-elections, if not the hereditaries altogether, would be an obvious first step.”
During his premiership, Sir Tony Blair introduced the House of Lords Act of 1999 which reduced the number of hereditary peers from 750 to the 92 which remain today.
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