I was interviewed on Sky News this week to discuss my Bill to remove the remaining 92 hereditary peers from Parliament.
It is completely wrong that 92 people, of which only 1 is a woman, are given a seat for life in Parliament – able to make our laws, question our Ministers and lobby organisations – based on what their Great Grandfather did for a previous monarch.
During the interview we discussed the Viscount Thurso and how he has been able to regenerate himself three times to ensure that he keeps a seat in Parliament. He was first thrown out of the Lords as a hereditary peer when Labour reformed it in 1999. He then renounced his hereditary title to win a seat for the Liberal Democrats in the 2001 General Election. He then lost the 2015 General Election and miraculously rediscovered his blue blood again to gain a seat in the Lords once more.
The hereditary peers make a mockery of Parliament and I will continue to press for my Bill to see them abolished on the stroke of midnight on 31 December 2019.
This summer another hereditary peer by-election took place. The winner of these elections get a seat in Parliament for life and get to decide how your laws are made. Their only qualification for running needed? That they have a relative who was a blue blooded hereditary peer. This is a ridiculous part of the UKs parliament and needs to be removed. I have a Bill that the UK Government could adopt but they refuse.
I asked yet again when they will take action to remove the hereditary peers from the House of Lords and the minister stated that it is not government policy. This is nonsense on sticks!
Next week a by-election takes place with only 31 electors eligible to vote. No, this isn’t for some corrupt body or dictatorship this is an election to our very own Houses of Parliament.
The House of Lords still has 92 hereditary peers who are only in the Lords because of their ancestors ability to cozy up to the elite at the time. I have a Bill to abolish them once and for all, but the UK Government keeps blocking it.
The minister says it was Labour that produced the current arrangements. That is only because the Tories blocked our original plans to abolish hereditary peers in the late 1990s. If they would have supported us we wouldn’t be in this ridiculous situation.
The minister proudly stated that they won the General Election and their manifesto set in stone that they will not reform the House of Lords. All the while they continue to want to shrink the democratically elected Commons in their favour.
Already this week I have taken part in a Westminster Hall Debate on House of Lords reform and called on the Government to scrap hereditary peers once and for all.
During the debate the Minister indicated that the Government will give up its time in the House of Lords to debate the recent report in Lords reform, but it became glaringly obvious that they were not intending on doing so for the democratically elected Commons. I used Business Questions today to call on the Government to give up its own time to debate this important matter. The Leader of the House said that debating the right of a small minority of people to create our laws and question our government due only to accident of birth was not a matter of high importance. This is ridiculous and the Government must accept my Bill and get rid of the hereditary peers now.