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It's chamber potty to axe the peerages.


Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron is getting a reputation as Mr Angry.

He's fighting against welfare reform, yet voted for the hated Bedroom Tax.

Now he says an unelected House of Lords is 'rotten to the core'. Yet he's happy to accept 11 new Lib Dem peers, increasing them to 113 - even though they only have eight MPs!

He's even given 10 of his 21 Shadow Cabinet positions to barons and baronesses!

Lord Sewel was an idiot and it's right he's gone. But calls to replace the Lords with a wholly-elected chamber are a knee-jerk reaction.

I've no problem with a second chamber having some people elected from the UK nations and regions.

But I think a fully elected one would challenge the authority of the House of Commons.

And what about independent peers like Olympic champion and disability rights campaigner Tanni Grey-Thompson? They'll be put at a disadvantage as they won't have the power of political parties to help her get elected.

Since being in the second chamber, I've met and listened to many wise and experienced people from all walks of life.

Bringing in a wholly-elected Lords will only see a raft of former special advisers and party donors being parachuted on to the ballot papers.

By all means make some of the Lords elected. In fact, let's go further. I'd happily be known as a Member of the Second Chamber, not a Lord.

But let's not lose people who actually have real-life experience outside politics.


BENCH MARK House of Lords

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Title Annotation:Editorial; Opinion Columns
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Aug 2, 2015
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