Wednesday, 15 November 2017 06:43


SNP House of Lords spokesperson Tommy Sheppard MP has said that the latest proposals for the future of the House of Lords show that the UK government has ‘washed its hands’ of the need for reform.

Tommy Sheppard MP will say in a debate at Westminster today (Wednesday) that the plans are an ‘abrogation of responsibility’ from the Tory government.
Under the plans, new peers would be limited to 15 year terms and membership would be cut by a quarter from the current 800 plus with a view to capping the number to 600. However - the package of reforms has come from the Lords itself –rather than any government proposals.
Tommy Sheppard MP commented :
"This package of proposals is too little too late and it is really shocking that the UK government appear to have washed their hands of any attempt at reform.
"Things are so bad with this dysfunctional, shambolic government that it is the House of Lords itself that is now urging its own reforms – rather than the Tory government. The Tories should hang their heads in shame. It is yet another abrogation of democracy from this government.
  "This was an opportunity to make a bold step forward in improving our democracy – but the reforms are baby steps. They need to be far more ambitious if they are to mean anything. There should be, for example, a complete moratorium on appointments. No new peers, no new cronies in the Upper House and the hangers on need to go. And why are terms for peers proposed to be 15 years?
"The limited reforms are a real kick in the teeth for the public who see the House of Lords for what it is - an affront to democracy. In the 21st Century the Upper House at Westminster should be elected and accountable – as a basic minimum. These small steps do little to bring that any nearer."

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