Following the appointment of six senior Tories to the House of Lords the SNP have today criticised David Cameron’s government and called on other parties to back the SNP in condemning the Tories’ Lords appointments.
The six peers appointed this week are; Ros Altmann, Minister of State for Pensions, Jim O’Neill – Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, Andrew Dunlop – Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Scotland, George Bridges – Parliamentary Secretary to the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude – Minister of State for Trade and Investment and David Prior – Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health.
The SNP has long believed the House of Lords is deeply undemocratic, and should be scrapped and replaced with a fully elected second chamber.
The Westminster parties have failed to bring about any significant reforms to the House of Lords in recent years – while the SNP remains committed to its replacement.
Labour MP John Mann earlier this week stated that Labour should follow the SNP’s lead on this issue, calling on his party not to appoint any Lords for the duration of this Westminster Parliament.
SNP MP for Perth and North Perthshire, Pete Wishart, said:
“The appointment of David Cameron’s friends and allies to the House of Lords is a clear sign of intent that the Tories think they can carry on with this outdated system regardless.
“I am now calling on all Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs and MSPs to support the SNP’s plan to hammer home the fact that that it cannot be business as usual for the Tories.
“The people of Scotland roundly rejected David Cameron on May 7, delivering the Tories their worst ever vote share north of the border in a general election since the since 1865.
“The House of Lords – which is stuffed with Tories – is an undemocratic and absurd institution. With over 800 unelected members, it is beyond repair with running costs of millions of pounds.
“The SNP has long believed there is no place for the unelected House of Lords in a modern democracy – it should be scrapped and replaced with a fully elected and accountable second chamber.
“On top of this, the rules around Peers’ allowances and expenses should be changed to ensure they are no longer exempt from tax.
“Scottish Lords alone cost the taxpayer over £2 million a year – at a time when more families are relying on foodbanks this is indefensible.
“Our strong team of SNP MPs at Westminster will continue to press the case for change – and the Westminster parties must face up to the fact that time is up for this outdated and expensive institution.”