Democracy advocates deplore official 'dishonours list'

By staff writers
May 31, 2010

The Bank Holiday weekend Dissolution Honours, List made at the end of every Parliament to allow outgoing prime ministers to reward colleagues, has been described by democracy campaigners as a 'dishonours list'.

Former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, former Northern Ireland First Minister Ian Paisley and former Tory leader Michael Howard are among those who have been given peerages in the Dissolution Honours List.

Those with financial interests in the last government and the big parties have also been rewarded, a fact which has angered many democracy and transparency advocates.

Commenting on the Dissolution Honours List, Peter Facey, director of Unlock Democracy declared: "The sight of yet another major party donor entering the House of Lords sends a shiver down my spine. It is as if the Government has a selective memory and has forgotton the scandals of the last five years."

He continued: “It is a fundamental principle that those who make our laws should be elected, rather than selected by party leaders. These peers should be the last ever appointments to the House of Lords and be term-limited.

"If appointments are needed, they should be based on merit and for what people can further contribute to society, not a ticket for supporters and loyalists to dine out on.

“We urgently need an elected second chamber as rapidly as possible. We look forward in eager anticipation to the Government's plans for an second chamber elected by a proportional electoral system," said Mr Facey.


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