The size of the House of Lords has now ballooned to accommodate around 830 peers, with only the Chinese Parliament and Congress having a larger unelected legislative body across the world. Dozens of peers have been appointed this year, including Scottish Tory MSP Ruth Davidson, Brexiteer former MEP Daniel Hannan, and the chairman of Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership campaign, Jennifer Chapman. Campaigners have long called for radical change in the House of Lords, with a backlash growing amid accusations of “unelected and unaccountable” peers having too much power.
Many have argued the upper chamber should be scrapped altogether, with all legislation passed solely by the House of Commons.
Several others have suggested a significant reform should take place which would see peers only being elected as a result of nationwide elections.
But the latest poll from Express.co.uk has revealed readers are overwhelmingly in favour of the upper chamber being completely scrapped.
A huge 63 percent (7,081 readers) said it should be completely scrapped, while a quarter (25 percent/2,494 readers) believe it should be reformed with elections.
Just 12 percent said the number of Lords should be reduced. Less than one percent believe the current system should remain in place (50 readers), while only 12 readers were undecided.
One Express.co.uk reader said: “It’s about time this waste of our taxpayers’ monies was scrapped.
“They are our equivalent to how the EU is influenced by a group of unelected nobodies, who only serve themselves.
“It should be replaced by an elected tier of government.”
A second person wrote: “There are nearly 1000 peers now – that is beyond ridiculous and must stop!”
Other Express.co.uk readers called for the House of Lords to undergo radical reform with the elections of peers taking place.
One person said: “Peers should be created by the people.
“Elections to the HOL should take place at the same time as a general election. Any citizen should be allowed to stand.”
Another commented: “It is long overdue for reform. There must a second chamber to safeguard the legislative process and it must be elected in order to maintain accountability to the people of this nation.”
Many other Express.co.uk readers believe the size of the House of Lords should be shrunk to as low as 100 peers.
One person said: “The Lords should be an elected house of between 100 and 140 and we the voters should be the ones to vote for them.
“They should only be elected for four years before standing again, and none should have more that two periods in the Lords.
“All elected lords must be in the chamber to receive allowance ad any that have long absences removed.”
MP Tommy Sheppard is calling for an urgent review into the “honours-for-chums” crisis, which he claimed “threatens the credibility of our democracy”.
He said: “These Lords are unelected and unaccountable.
“It is an affront to our democracy that the Tories have been allowed to stuff the House of Lords with their party chums, election losing has-beens and Whitehall cronies.
“There’s growing anger amongst voters and allowing this kind of Westminster sleaze to continue any longer threatens the credibility of our democracy.
“It’s time to pull the brakes on this gravy train and urgently review this honours-for-chums scandal.
“The sooner this undemocratic, out-of-touch institution is abolished – and replaced with an elected chamber – the better.”
Lord Speaker Lord Fowler added: “There remains the whole question of the size of the Lords, which is almost 200 larger than the Commons and far in excess of what is needed to transact its business.
“Surely the torrent of new appointments has neither public nor political support.”
However, a House of Lords spokesman said: “The House is a busy and effective revising chamber and has continued to hold the government to account during the pandemic.”