Gordon MP Richard Thomson has expressed concern after publication of a report by Open Democracy which showed that both Conservative and Labour Party appointees to the House of Lords who were either donors or had political connections was almost identical at around 83%.
Scandal-ridden Boris Johnson, who was found to have nominated the most donors, appointed 14 donors who had, in total, donated £17 million to the Conservative Party, nominating almost double that of David Cameron, who had the second highest rate.
As for Labour leaders, 93% of Ed Miliband’s 16 appointments had party links or were donors, while for Sir Keir Starmer the figure was 84% (11 of 13) and for Jeremy Corbyn it was 66% (8 of 12). Miliband’s appointments donated £2.2m, Starmer’s £125,401 and Corbyn’s £7,940.
Commenting, Richard Thomson MP said:
“This is a useful reminder if one were needed that the House of Lords is not fit for purpose.
“The true measure of whether or not a country is a democracy is whether or not the people can remove their legislators at an election. With now well over half of the members of the UK Houses of Parliament unelected, that test is failed. Indeed, the UK is second only to the Chinese National People’s Congress for having unelected members sitting in Parliament.
“Once again Labour and the Conservatives are joined at the hip on another key issue and blind to the mood of the public and have abused their privileges to appoint party donors and cronies to unelected lifelong seats in the Lords.
“This archaic and broken system is beyond repair. The undemocratic House of Lords is an affront to democracy, and in no way shape or form represents the people of Scotland.”
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