SNP steps up demand for 'undemocratic' House of Lords to be abolished

Tommy Sheppard called for the House of Lords to be abolished
Tommy Sheppard called for the House of Lords to be abolished
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The SNP has reiterated its demand for the House of Lords to be abolished as two former Conservative MPs prepare to enter the upper chamber as part of Boris Johnson's cabinet.

Nicky Morgan, the former culture secretary who resigned as an MP ahead of last month's election, and Zac Goldsmith, an ex-Tory minister who lost his seat to the Lib Dems, will be elevated to the peerage today.

The new Baroness Morgan will keep her position and Lord Goldsmith will attend Cabinet as an environment and development minister.

Nationalists claimed it was further proof of the 'undemocratic' nature of the Lords. The SNP does not accept peerages - the only major party at Westminster to take such a stance.

Labour leadership hopeful Rebecca Long-Bailey has also criticised the upper chamber. She said yesterday it was symptomatic of the "Westminster bubble" where power lay far from the communities that her party needed to win back.

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SNP MP Tommy Sheppard said: “As two unelected former Tory MPs prepare to take their privileged place in the Lords and in official roles in Boris Johnson’s government, it’s clear that the House of Lords has no place in a modern democracy and must be abolished.

"It smacks of privilege and arrogance that two former MPs - who were either rejected by the public or resigned before they could be rejected - are being elevated to the Lords and will have a say over legislation.

“The Tories don't even think they need to bother standing in an election and be held to account by the public in order to keep the perks of ministerial posts."

Asked how Commons legislation would be scrutinised without the Lords, Ms Long-Bailey said: "There would need to be checks and balances in place but to have a set of completely unelected people doing that I don't think is right."