The House of Lords will be abolished and replaced with an elected upper chamber if Labour wins the next election, Sir Keir Starmer has announced.
Starmer told Labour’s peers this week that the UK’s political system had been undermined by recent Prime Ministers appointing “lackeys and donors” to the House of Lords.
Politicians will be stripped of the power to elect life peers in the first term of a Labour government and the party is now holding a consultation on the composition of a new chamber, the Observer reported today.
The move comes as a part of Gordon Brown’s wider constitutional review for the party, which is also set to call for more powers to devolved governments.
Starmer told Labour’s peers earlier this week: “I want to be clear that we do need to restore the trust of the public in every part of the United Kingdom in our system of government.
“House of Lords reform is just one part of that … People have lost faith in the ability of politicians and politics to bring about change – that is why, as well as fixing our economy, we need to fix our politics.”
It comes after complaints that Boris Johnson appointed political allies and donors to the House of Lords, including Evening Standard owner Evgeny Lebedev – the billionaire son of a Russian oligarch.
Johnson is reportedly set to also appoint junior aides, in their late 20s and early 30s, to the House of Lords in his resignation honours list.
Labour also had scandals about House of Lords appointments during its last period in government, with Tony Blair investigated in the “cash for peerages” saga.
Starmer first pledged to reform the House of Lords during the 2020 Labour leadership election.
He vowed to “abolish the House of Lords” and to “replace it with an elected chamber of regions and nations”.