Shameful shuffling shows why Lords reform is essential

By staff writers
August 3, 2013

This summer's behind-the-scenes deals show that the House of Lords in its present form remains unsustainable, says Unlock Democracy.

Alexandra Runswick, director of the leading political reform campaign, commented: "The fact that these new peers are being shuffled in by the back door during the summer recess, shows you all you need to know about how indefensible a system for stuffing a parliamentary chamber with political appointees has become."

She continued: "Looking carefully at the list, that comes as no surprise; it is the usual list of party donors and cronies with a handful of more notable people to distract people's attention away from the fundamental lack of legitimacy.

"With more than 750 existing members of the House of Lords, these new peers certainly aren't being appointed because of any vacancies. The second chamber is currently heaving, with far more members than it has space for.

"As it stands, this system is unsustainable. The House of Lords is already the largest parliamentary chamber in a democracy and is set to grow to more than 1,000 members within the next few years. The Lords' own half-hearted attempts to tweak the system have failed; the only option is for the main parties to fulfil their promises and replace it with a democratic chamber," declared Ms Strudwick.

[Ekk/3]

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