(London) The British Labor Party, in opposition for 12 years and at the top in the polls, announced on Monday its desire to replace the House of Lords with an elected chamber.
Keir Starmer, leader of “Labour”, and Gordon Brown, former Labor Prime Minister (2007-2010), launched Monday in Leeds, in the north of England, a consultation to define the party’s program for the next elections. general, which must take place within two years.
According to the polls, Labor is far ahead of the Conservatives in voting intentions, taking advantage of the instability within the “Tories”. Three prime ministers, Boris Johnson, Liz Truss then Rishi Sunak, have succeeded each other since last summer.
“I think the House of Lords is indefensible,” Labor leader Keir Starmer told the BBC. “Anyone looking at the House of Lords would be hard pressed to say it should be kept. So we want to remove it and replace it with an elected chamber,” he continued.
This “smaller” chamber would be “not only less expensive, but also representative of the regions and nations of the United Kingdom”, promised Keir Starmer.
While the House of Commons — elected by universal suffrage — has the final say in Parliament, the House of Lords can modify or delay the enactment of certain laws.
The House of Lords has some 800 members, appointed with little transparency. The outgoing Prime Ministers appoint to the House of Lords “a list of honour” often made up of allies who then become parliamentarians for life.
There have long been calls for the British chamber to be more representative: it has only 29% women and almost half of the members come from London and the south-east of England.
Keir Starmer also wants to “give Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and parts of England new status and louder, prouder voices in a reformed, modern UK”.
“Britain is one of the most centralized systems in Europe, but the center has not kept its promises,” he criticized. “Too much power is held in Westminster” and a transfer of this power will give “opportunities everywhere across the United Kingdom”, promised the Leader of the Opposition.