House of Lords

Political reform group the Electoral Reform Society has said it would “further damage Westminster’s legitimacy” if Liz Truss creates a new batch of peers. The group has also called for the Lords to be abolished and replaced with an elected chamber.

According to reports, Truss may release a ‘resignation honours’ list following her departure from Number 10. By convention, all prime ministers are eligible to nominate a series of people for honours – including peerages – upon their resignation.

If Truss were to create another batch of peers, it would be the latest stuffing of the Lords with new appointees. Less than two weeks ago, Number 10 announced 26 new peers in an honours list. Boris Johnson is also still yet to release his resignation honours list. This means we could see a bumper crop of new peers appointed in three separate batches in a period of just a few weeks.

Analysis from the Electoral Reform Society has suggested that the 26 peers already newly appointed will add a public bill of up to £727,000 to the House of Lords. That’s because each peer can claim £332 for every day they attend the Lords, in addition to travel expenses.

Willie Sullivan, Senior Director (Campaigns) 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.”

The House of Lords currently has almost 800 members, making it the second largest legislature in the world after only China’s National People’s congress.

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