Keir Starmer Vows To Remove 'Indefensible' House Of Lords

Labour leader wants to move power out of Westminster and Whitehall.

Keir Starmer has promised to eradicate the unelected House of Lords and replace it with another second chamber instead.

This is just one of 40 proposals unveiled by the Labour leader as part of his new constitutional reform plan which he has been working on since 2020 with former prime minister Gordon Brown.

Promoting the so-called Britain report, Starmer told BBC Breakfast on Monday: “I think the House of Lords is indefensible. I think anyone who looks at the House of Lords would struggle to say that it should be kept.”

The Lords, which currently has around 800 members, examines bills after they’ve passed through the House of Commons and has the power to amend or reject them.

The chamber been a source of controversy for years because people are appointed by the monarch on the advice of consecutive prime ministers, rather than the general public.

“We want to abolish the House of Lords and replace it with an elected chamber,” the Labour leader said, adding that he was “very keen for all the recommendations in the report to be carried out as quickly as possible”.

Starmer said there was a consultation happening now, so that these proposals – including stopping MPs taking a second job and Westminster sleaze – can kick when Labour next secure a place in Downing Street.

He vowed: “The incoming Labour government would be one of delivery – therefore I want it out of the way before the election, and then I want to get on with delivering.”

He said all of these changes are “deliberately” written in a way which means they can be implemented within the first five years of a Labour government.

The Labour leader claimed there was too much power in Westminster, and that was one of the reasons the UK’s economy was stalling right now.

He explained: “People thinking they know better than people who live in that areas I am most concerned about.

“This is a big transfer of power, part of what I believe is the problem in politics, too many politicians in Westminster and Whitehall making too many decisions about the lives of other people.”

The report suggests introducing a democratically elected Assembly of Nations and Regions who would become “custodians of change” in the Lords place.

He dismissed claims that this was just an “academic” issue, after the Conservative Party criticised Starmer’s proposals for not focusing on the immediate issues facing the country right now.

Starmer suggested that the government’s current attempts to resolve issues facing the UK were just “sticking plasters”, rather than addressing the root problem.

Brown has also criticised the size of the Lords, telling journalists: “Every second chamber in the world with very exceptions, is relatively small and usually smaller than the first chamber.

“And we’ve now got a House of Lords that has got 830 members.

“That is compared with the American senate which has 100 members to cover 300 million people – we have got a House of Lords which is 800-plus to cover only 60 million people.”


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