House of Lords reform is 'matter of when not if' says expert
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Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society Darren Hughes spoke to Express.co.uk about the House of Lords and the public’s growing resentment towards the chamber. Mr Hughes was angry following the reports Tory donors were being offered peerages and said the public needed to focus its debate on reforming the Lords as stays in the forefront of conversations. Mr Hughes also believes the Lords being abolished is a matter of “when, not if” as he deplored the “out of date” structure of the unelected second chamber.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Hughes was asked about the future of the House of Lords and what were the next steps following the cash for peerages report.
Mr Hughes explained: “I think it’s a matter of when not if.
“But I think that the public need to really communicate, as they’ve been doing in the last two weeks since these stories came back into the public arena.
“That there is interest in what is going on.
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“Often people who want the story to go away will use this phrase; this is just a Westminster bubble story.
“I’ve always been suspicious of people who say that because what’s motivating them to try and make the rest of us not take notice of this.
“So I think, rather than allowing more stain and more loss of faith in our institutions like the Lord’s and the Commons are doing to themselves.
“They should number one, stop doing that and number two, pick up really good ideas for reform.
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“You know, it’s no good being in favour of tradition and then not doing anything new, as I say, all traditions start new at some point.”
Mr Hughes believed some members of the Lords may back reform as they might be annoyed at their colleagues who do not work as hard as they do.
When asked whether he would support a third elected chamber, circumnavigating the Lords being abolished, Mr Hughes was not convinced it would fix governance problems.
Mr Hughes stated the Lords would still be used by political parties to reward allies and clog up a chamber with their political ambitions.
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He added it would be simply easier to remove the chamber and replace it rather than installing a new third house to get around the issues.
Mr Hughes remarked the Lords could keep their titles when the House gets abolished as a “sweetener” as many professionals keep their titles when they leave their job.
It was revealed by the Sunday Times that 22 of the Tories’ top donors were offered peerages in the House of Lords since 2010.
Calls to review the chamber have been revived following Sir Keir Starmer’s backtrack on abolishing the chamber.
The SNP has written to the Metropolitan Police to investigate whether the Government has broken the law by giving peerages in exchange for financial support.
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