'The political class views the House Of Lords as a retirement club', says Electoral Reform Society

'The political class views the House Of Lords as a retirement club', says Electoral Reform Society

The Electoral Reform Society has criticised the House Of Lords

Friday, September 22, 2017

A culture has developed which means the political class view the House Of Lords as their retirement club, according to the Electoral Reform Society.

The society has claimed that those peers in the House Of Lords who spoke five times or less during the 2016/17 Parliamentary year claimed a total of £4 million in expenses - and 4% of peers didn't vote at all.

But a spokesman for the House Of Lords claims the society has a narrow view and peers have a larger role.

Darren Hughes, the chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society, told Julia Hartley-Brewer: "The indignation that you even question [the House of Lords] sort of speaks volumes to the culture that’s allowed to develop because the political class see this as their retirement club".

He admits there is merit to the idea "that when laws are made in the House of Commons, maybe in response to the political pressures of a particular year or whatever, it might be the idea that you have another chamber that would take a long-term view.

"But we don't need 800 people to do that. We don’t need people to be appointed because of their political connections."

Hughes thinks "for many people who are getting on with things, these sort of issues can seem either a bit dry as dust or it becomes an obsession on the personalities."

But "when people say they’re worried about their access to public services or what’s happening in the economy... all of those issues have to start somewhere and they start from the constitutional basis and arrangement of your country."

Listen to the full interview above

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