Labour will 'abolish the House of Lords' to 'restore trust in politics' under Sir Keir Starmer

20 November 2022, 09:44

Keir Starmer wants to abolish the House of Lords
Keir Starmer wants to abolish the House of Lords. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

Sir Keir Starmer will abolish the House of Lords and replace it with a new elected chamber if Labour win power - to "restore trust in politics".

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The proposal, reported by The Observer, would see Labour holding a consultation on the composition and size of a new chamber as well as more immediate reform of the current and often-criticised appointments process.

There have long been warnings that membership of the House of Lords is becoming excessive while Boris Johnson courted controversy with some of his appointments to the unelected chamber, notably Lord Lebedev.

Russian-British businessman Evgeny Lebedev leaves the House of Lord
Russian-British businessman Evgeny Lebedev leaves the House of Lord. Picture: Getty

The media mogul and son of an ex-KGB agent was given a life peerage in 2020 but has spoken just once on the floor of the House.

More recently, Mr Johnson has faced accusations that he has proposed several Conservative MPs for peerages but told them to delay accepting them to prevent triggering by-elections.

Sir Keir, whose party has a considerable lead in the polls after weeks of political instability, told Labour peers that part of the reason for reform was the public "have lost faith in the ability of politicians and politics to bring about change".

The House of Lords could be abolished
The House of Lords could be abolished. Picture: Getty

Under his plans, the Lords replacement would be "truly representative" of the UK's nations and regions while still retaining its role as the second chamber in relation to the Commons.

Read more: King Charles snubs Andrew and Harry as he asks for Princess Anne and Prince Edward to become stand-ins

Read more: Sir Keir Starmer was 'a bit of a lad’: ex-classmate shares memories of time at school with Labour leader

I want to be clear that we do need to restore the trust of the public in every part of the United Kingdom in our system of government,” Sir Keir told a meeting of Labour MPs.

“House of Lords reform is just one part of that … People have lost faith in the ability of politicians and politics to bring about change – that is why, as well as fixing our economy, we need to fix our politics.”

He added that it should be “truly representative” of the country.

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