POLITICS
27/10/2015 05:12 GMT | Updated 27/10/2015 05:59 GMT

Tax Credits Reaction: Flooding House of Lords With Tories Would Be 'Bullying Politics', Conservatives Warned While Refusing To Rule Out Move

Richard Stonehouse via Getty Images
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne waits for The President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping to arrive to tour the National Graphene Institute at Manchester University with the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne on October 23, 2015 in Manchester, England. After listening to a presentation from Dame Nancy Rothwell, the party toured the University Centre which leads the world in graphene research and is one of the most important centres for commercialising the one-atom-thick material. (Photo by Richard Stonehouse - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

A senior Government minister has refused to rule out flooding the House of Lords with Conservatives in response to its dramatic defeat over tax credits last night.

George Osborne faced humiliation after the upper house voted to delay his welfare reforms and fully compensate families hit by the welfare crackdown for three years.

The Chancellor last night pledged to introduce "transitionary" measures in his Autumn Statement next month, representing a major climbdown over a major plank of his budget.

But David Cameron also in the aftermath pledged a swift review of the unelected House of Lords against claims peers and Bishops have over-reached their mandate by blocking the Government over its spending programme.

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This morning, Chris Grayling the Tory Leader of the House of Commons, toured the broadcast studios and launched a series of fierce attacks on the House of Lords.

He claimed Labour and Lib Dem peers were "unhappy that they lost the election" and "decided they want to wreck the Government's programme".

Asked on Radio 4's Today programme whether up to 150 Tory peers could be introduced to re-balance the Lords, he said: "I don't think we're ruling anything in or out at this stage. We've only just started the work. I'd be reluctant to do really dramatic changes. But it really is for us to sort out the relationship between the Commons and the Lords."

He made clear the status quo was unlikely to remain: "I don't really see after yesterday we can say no change is needed."

Earlier in the show, senior Tory backbencher David Davis dismissed stuffing the Lords with Conservatives as "bullying politics".

"That's a ridiculous threat," said the MP, who warned the tax credits reform risked being "possibly a harmful thing for three million people".

He went on: "The public will be disgusted by it. They will review that action as a piece of bullying politics."

TAX CREDITS: THE IMPACT

Tax credits are welfare payments to families raising children and working people on low incomes.

More than three million families will lose an average of £1,300 a year from April

The cuts will deliver £4.4bn of the Chancellor’s planned welfare cuts by reducing the earnings level at which tax credits start to be withdrawn from £6,420 to £3,850.

The Government says eight out of 10 would be "better off" overall from a package which also includes increases in the minimum wage for over-25s, rises in the income tax threshold and extended free childcare.