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.
As you will know, I have long campaigned for the hereditary principle to be abolished in our democracy.
Last week in the by-election following the death of Lord Lyell, 346 valid votes were cast. All current members of the House who have taken the oath, 803 in total, were edible to vote.
On the first count, of the 27 candidates, 26 received one or more first-preference votes. After 25 transfers of votes, the votes for final two candidates were:
Lord Bethell 108
Lord Colgrain 143
Lord Colgrain now gets a seat in our Parliament for life on a turnout of just 43%, bearing in mind the electorate are supposed to be political people so you would think would bother to vote. That means that he won the vote with only 17% of the potential electorate. That is a ridiculous situation.
This is now the 5th by-election to be held in the House of Lords since the 2015 General Election.
I have always voted to reform or abolish the House of Lords as I see it as a hangover of a time and place that no longer exists within the UK. But I feel the removal of hereditary peers is a step we could all agree with and then continue with further reform as the next course of action. Read more “House of Lords Reform: Westminster Hall Debate”