Keir Starmer’s House of Lords ‘hypocrisy’: Labour leader vows to axe upper chamber… but he helped ex-MP Tom Watson get peerage despite VIP abuse storm
- Labour leader plans to introduce an elected upper chamber if he becomes PM
- He is said to want to strip politicians of power to make appointments to the Lords
- Senior Labour MP says the time was right to democratise the House of Lords
Sir Keir Starmer has been branded hypocritical for vowing to abolish the House of Lords soon after nominating a controversial Labour bigwig for a peerage.
The party’s leader plans to introduce an elected upper chamber as part of sweeping constitutional reforms if he becomes prime minister, it was revealed yesterday.
He is said to want to strip politicians of the power to make appointments to the Lords in order to ‘restore trust in politics’.
However, critics pointed out that just last month it emerged Sir Keir had nominated for a peerage a former Labour MP who promoted conspiracy theories about a VIP paedophile ring.
The party’s leader plans to introduce an elected upper chamber as part of sweeping constitutional reforms if he becomes prime minister, it was revealed yesterday
He put Tom Watson’s name forward even though he had been rejected just two years earlier because of his involvement in the witch-hunt.
Last night Sir Keir was savaged for his lack of judgment by a former Tory MP who was falsely accused of child abuse by the fantasist supported by Mr Watson.
Harvey Proctor, who eventually received a payout from Scotland Yard for his ordeal, said: ‘Sir Keir Starmer is a hypocrite. Despite the House of Lords Appointment Commission refusing Tom Watson’s peerage in 2020, Starmer completely disregarded them in 2022 to nominate him again.’
He said that Sir Keir and Mr Watson were themselves responsible for damaging trust in politics, adding: ‘What better way of launching his campaign to abolish the House of Lords than by ennobling Tom Watson?’
Soon after becoming Labour leader in 2020, Sir Keir also nominated his campaign chairman Jenny Chapman for a peerage.
A senior Labour MP said yesterday the time was right to democratise the House of Lords, which for centuries was only home to the nobility and bishops but has in recent years received hundreds of new political appointments after Tony Blair removed most hereditary peers.
Jonathan Ashworth told Sky News: ‘There is a lot of great expertise in the House of Lords, of course, and there are very good people in the House of Lords, but we need to bring it into the 21st century, it needs to be a modern second chamber and therefore it should be elected.
‘I think when trust in politics is so low, because of the actions of Boris Johnson – and he is actually trying to make appointments to the House of Lords which people feel or have felt are inappropriate – I think the time is right to democratise the House of Lords.’
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