Sunday, 28 February 2016 12:49

SNP call on UK Government to ditch plans to reduce number of Scottish MPs

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 The Scottish National Party has called on the UK government to ditch its ‘undemocratic’ plans to further reduce the number of Scottish MPs at Westminster and instead focus on reducing the ever-expanding size and cost of the unelected House of Lords.

 With 816 peers the House of Lords is now the second-largest legislative chamber in the world – second only to the National People’s Congress of China, which serves a population of 1.4billion. David Cameron has claimed his plan to reduce the number of Scottish MPs is a cost-saving measure, but he has created 244 new peers since 2010 and this week reports emerged that he plans to create at least another 40.

 Opinion polls have consistently shown that a majority of Scots want to see the House of Lords scrapped – a YouGov poll in September 2015 found that 67 per cent of people in Scotland want it to be abolished.

 The SNP has long called for the House of Lords to be abolished and included a manifesto pledge in its 2015 General Election Manifesto. While the SNP won 56 of 59 seats at the election the Tories got their lowest share of the vote since 1865 and have failed to win more than one seat in Scotland at any election since 1997.   

 Commenting Kirsty Blackman MP, the SNP spokesperson on the House of Lords, said:

 “The UK government has no democratic mandate to diminish Scotland’s voice at Westminster by further reducing the number of Scottish MPs.

 “It is ludicrous for David Cameron to claim that this is a cost-saving measure when he continues to wantonly expand the size and cost of the unelected and undemocratic House of Lords – filling it with even more Tory donors and cronies, who are then each entitled to claim a tax-free allowance of £300 a day for life.

 “The message from the people of Scotland at the last election could not have been clearer – it is the same message that we have seen in all the opinion polls – the House of Lords should be scrapped and Scotland’s voice at Westminster must be strengthened not weakened.

 “The Tories were roundly rejected in Scotland at the last election – and have been at every election for decades – so they cannot claim popular support. The Prime Minister should listen to the voters in Scotland for once – abolish this ridiculous institution and give these unelected and unaccountable peers their P45s.”  


 Notes for editors:

 Number of peers created by David Cameron since May 2010 (House of Commons Library):

 YouGov poll on Scottish views of House of Lords abolition:

 Coverage of David Cameron’s plans to create more peers: