Labour leader Sir Kier Starmer has confirmed plans to abolish House of Lords in his first term if he is elected prime minister, following the next general election.
The decision is part of his plan to restore the public’s trust in politics, which has been undermined by the Conservative government.
The House of Lords are the upper chamber of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It is made up of 800 members, appointed by the monarch as suggestion from the Prime Minister. The House of Lords make and shape legislation and have the power to amend or reject bills, they also scrutinise and challenge the government activity.
The Labour leader has told the party members that he wants to strip politicians of the power to appoint the Lords as part of the first – term plan of a labour government, if elected.
Starmer has outlined principles for reform, including that any new chamber should be elected through voters and not appointed by politicians.
The party is to seek information later on regarding how large the elected chamber will be and how members will be appointed before including it in their manifesto ahead of the next election
Arthur Aitchison, master of research in British politics and Labour party at University of Nottingham, spoke to Westminster World he said that the House of Lords is an “outdated system and an unelected chamber” which doesn’t represent the opinion of the public and is used as a way for a Prime Minister to push its members to be “politically engaged”, backing Kier Starmer’s verdict.
He states that the abolishment of the House of Lord will be a “constitutional nightmare” for British Politics, as it has been engraved in the system for many years. Further adding, that it will result in a clash leading to a “crisis in the political engagement” between the Labour and Conservative party.
Starmer’s proposal forms part of the former PM Gordon Brown blueprint for Labour government. It outlines the importance of bringing change for a “New Britain”, proposing a big transfer of power out of Westminster and Whitehall, Brown has said.
The pledge comes after news that Boris Johnson wants to hand peerages to four members in his resignation list.
Sir Keir is regularly criticised for backlashing the government without providing an alternative offer on policy. Though this time, the proposal is part of a plan to prove isn’t just ready for government, but also has a plan in place to make sure Labour wins the next general election.