Peers 'lording it up' as reforms left in chaos

A week after the UK Governments proposals for House of Lords reform were left in chaos, an SNP MSP has pointed to reports in today’s Sunday Mail - that disgraced ex-Labour peer Lord Watson has cost taxpayers almost £10,000 for each time he has spoken in the Lords – as further evidence of why Scotland would be better off with independence.

SNP MSP for Glasgow Cathcart James Dornan said:

“People will be rightly angry that disgraced politicians can continue to lord it up at public expense.

“Just a week since the UK Government’s Lords reform proposals were left in chaos, this shows exactly why this unelected and expensive retirement home for old politicians should be abolished.

“Scotland already has a modern, democratically representative Parliament at Holyrood, and it is there that all decisions which affect people in Scotland should be rightfully scrutinised.

“For parliament to carry out its purpose, it must act with democratic authority and integrity. The present House of Lords lacks of legitimacy because of its anachronistic and unrepresentative composition – yet 800 unelected peers still preside over policy impacting on Scotland.

“The constitutional change that is best for Scotland is to stop this discredited, undemocratic chamber having any say in the decisions which affect Scotland – and that will be done by voting yes in the independence referendum in 2014.”

Reports in the Sunday Mail reveal Lord Watson, who was jailed for fire raising in 2005, claimed more than £48,000 in House of Lords attendance allowances and travel expenses over a twelve month period when he spoke in just five debates and participated in only a quarter of votes.