Posted by: westlancashirerecord | May 31, 2019

Time To Drain The House Of Lords Swamp?

The Guardian

devoted itself to its investigation into the attendance and voting records of some members of the House of Lords. Particularly Lord Brookman

among dozens not to speak, raising fresh questions about the chamber.

The former trade union general secretary David Brookman was among dozens of other lords and baronesses who never took part in a single debate, while almost a third of the 800 peers barely participated in parliamentary business over a 12-month period despite costing almost £3.2m in allowances.

It reports that 46 peers failed to register a single vote last year. One Labour peer is said to have claimed almost £50,000 in attendance and travel expenses covering every day the Lords was sitting, despite never speaking or asking written questions.

The newspaper suggests the data will raise fresh questions about the size and effectiveness of the Lords, and the funds that can be claimed by those who fail to regularly contribute. The findings show: Eighty-eight peers, about one in nine, never spoke, held a government post or participated in a committee at all; Forty-six peers did not register a single vote, including on Brexit, sit on a committee or hold a post. One peer claimed £25,000 without voting, while another claimed £41,000 but only voted once.

More than 270 peers claimed more than £40,000 in allowances, with two claiming more than £70,000. The Lords allegedly plays a crucial role in scrutinising government legislation, but its critics have long complained the chamber is bloated, anachronistic and inefficient.

The largest claim for attendance and travel expenses was from the former Labour minister Jack Cunningham

who chairs one of the chamber’s most important committees scrutinising secondary legislation. He claimed £75,122 for 154 days’ attendance, £23,108 of which was for air travel.
Receipts obtained through freedom of information requests suggest Lord Cunningham took dozens of flights to and from London. It is not clear whether or not Cunningham travelled business class.

It’s all a public swindle, time to drain the swamp and reform it for an elected house.


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