As a Tory’sleaze’ row erupts, Andrew Neil’s harsh assessment of the House of Lords is “abolish it.”
ANDREW NEIL has proposed that the House of Lords be abolished entirely, following a growing backlash over allegations of Tory “sleaze.”
It comes as the Conservative Party is being accused of giving seats in the Lords to wealthy donors who give more than £3 million to the party.
Meanwhile, there has been widespread speculation that Owen Paterson, who resigned as MP for North Shropshire on Thursday after the government reversed its stance on his suspension from Parliament, may be given a peerage.
On Sunday night, government sources told the Guardian that No10 has “no intention” of bestowing a peerage on Mr Paterson.
“Can we not just abolish the Lords? Not reform it?” Mr Neil tweeted this evening.
Remove it from the equation.”
“Why should anyone in twenty-first-century Britain be called Lord?” he continued.
“It’s fine if the heredities want to use it as a title amongst themselves.
Why not just Mr. or Mrs. for the rest of us?”
Mr Paterson was removed from office due to “egregious” violations of lobbying laws.
Mr Paterson’s colleagues proposed an amendment on Wednesday to postpone the suspension decision and establish a new committee.
They had the Prime Minister’s support at first, but after public outcry, Downing Street reversed its decision.
The North Shropshire MP works as a paid consultant for Randox, a clinical diagnostics company that performs Covid-19 testing and pays him £8,333 per month for 16 hours of work, as well as Lynn’s Country Foods, a meat processor and distributor, which pays him £2,000 every other month for four hours of work.
On top of his parliamentary salary, he earns a total of £112,000 from the two companies.
Mr Paterson has publicly denied wrongdoing and announced his resignation as a member of Parliament on Thursday.
In a letter to Lord Bew, chairman of the House of Lords Appointments Commission, Labour leader Keir Starmer said that making Mr Paterson a Lord would “undermine the confidence in the probity of Parliament.”
Former Prime Minister Sir John Major said on Saturday that a peerage for Mr Paterson would be “quite extraordinary,” calling Boris Johnson’s government “shameful.”
According to a report published today (Sunday) by The Sunday Times and Open Democracy, all 16 of the Conservative Party’s main treasurers — with the exception of the most recent, who stepped down two months ago after donating £3.8 million — have been.
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