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Following the news that dozens of former Tory MPs, party donors and Brexiteers are due to be given a seat in the House of Lords, a petition was launched to scrap the unelected upper chamber. The petition calls for an end to new appointments to the Lords, and suggests it should be replaced with a “fairly-elected chamber that reflects the UK”.
Willie Sullivan, the Scottish director of the Electoral Reform Society (ERS), launched the petition as he said it was “absurd” that former-politicians get a second chance of having their say on British laws.
He wrote: “For too long the House of Lords has been used as an absurd insurance policy for ex-politicians.
“Lose your seat? Don’t worry, here’s another one.
“It’s a lifetime pass to vote on our laws, and you get a fancy title to go with it.”
Mr Sullivan added: “The Government has given these people the power to decide on our laws for life – even though they’ve lost the confidence of their electorate.”
Over a third of peers (37 percent) are former politicians, political staff or activists, according to research by ERS.
Commenting on this, the political campaigner states: “This is no chamber of experts – it’s a retirement home for political cronies. Enough is enough.”
He also pointed out peers can claim £323 a day tax-free for carrying out the role.
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So far, 343,509 people have signed the petition – and the figure continues to rise.
Mr Sullivan calls for peers to be held accountable, as they have the power to change and create laws.
He wrote: “We are calling for a halt to new appointments in the Lords and for it to be replaced with a fairly-elected chamber that reflects the UK.
“We need to replace this archaic boys club that we have now.”
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Last week it emerged Boris Johnson had nominated 36 more people to the House of Lords, which would take the total number of peers over 800.
No10 said the new nominations would help “ensure the Lords has appropriate expertise”.
Tory party donor Michael Spicer, former party chairman Sir Patrick McLoughlin and Mr Johnson’s own senior adviser, Eddie Lister, are among those set to enter the House of Lords.
The Prime Minister’s brother Jo Johnson has also been nominated.
Mr Johnson, who is eight years younger than the Prime Minister, resigned from the Commons last year over opposition to his brother’s Brexit plans.
A number of other Brexit supporters, including former Labour MP and Vote Leave supporter Kate Hoey, ex-Brexit Party MEP Claire Fox and newspaper columnist Charles Moore have also been put forward for peerages.
No10 did acknowledge the size of the House of Lords still needs addressing but said new members were needed to ensure the Lords “continues to fulfil its role in scrutinising and revising legislation”.
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