UK

Penny Mordaunt calls for unelected House of Lords to be scrapped

Minister Penny Mordaunt calls for unelected House of Lords to be scrapped as she labels Parliament a ‘relic’ which must be reformed

  • Penny Mordaunt argues in new book for unelected House of Lords to be axed
  • Paymaster General said upper chamber is ‘out of touch with modern democracy’
  • She argues that major reforms should see House of Lords made fully elected 

A senior Government minister has called for the unelected House of Lords to be scrapped and replaced with a more democratic upper chamber. 

Penny Mordaunt, who currently serves as the Paymaster General having previously served in two secretary of state roles, argues in a new book in favour of a massive overhaul of Parliament. 

Ms Mordaunt, who works out of the Cabinet Office which oversees matters of constitutional reform, said the current version of the Lords is ‘as out of touch with modern democracy as it is possible to be’. 

Penny Mordaunt, who currently serves as the Paymaster General having previously served in two secretary of state roles, argues in a new book in favour of a massive overhaul of Parliament

At the moment there are approximately 800 peers compared to 650 MPs in the House of Commons

At the moment there are approximately 800 peers compared to 650 MPs in the House of Commons

She labelled Parliament a ‘relic’ and a ‘mausoleum’ which must be updated, according to extracts from ‘Greater: Britain After The Storm’ seen by The Sunday Times.

The book, written when Ms Mordaunt was outside government, sets out how Britain could change and reposition itself after Brexit.     

The book has been endorsed by Boris Johnson as well as former prime minister Tony Blair and other prominent public figures. 

Ms Mordaunt and her co-author, Chris Lewis, suggest that the House of Commons and the Lords are ‘anachronisms’. 

On the Lords specifically, they ask: ‘What kind of democracy allows the majority of its parliamentarians to be appointed rather than elected? 

Reforms floated during the years of the Coalition Government suggested moving to a system of 15-year terms in the House of Lords. 

But Ms Mordaunt said that reform should result in a fully elected upper chamber with regular elections.  

The comments come after the new Lord Speaker called for the number of peers to be ‘vigorously’ reduced and demanded a ‘face to face’ meeting with Mr Johnson to discuss plans to shake up Parliament. 

Lord McFall, who has taken over from Lord Fowler, said at the start of May that the upper chamber should be continuing to look at shrinking to the size of the House of Commons. 

At the moment there are approximately 800 peers compared to 650 MPs in the Commons.   

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