Three new Tory lawmakers have been “sneaked into Parliament through the back door” by only 36 aristocrats, the Electoral Reform Society has said.
The statement comes as tens of thousands of people turned up to vote for one MP in the Chesham and Amersham by-election.
This prompted the Society to highlight that three hereditary peers have been chosen for life by much fewer people allowed to have a say under the UK’s political system.
“It’s hard to overstate how ludicrous this is”
Willie Sullivan, senior director at the Electoral Reform Society, said: “On Thursday, 38,000 voters went to the polls, to pick one MP. On the same day, three hereditary aristocrats were put into the Lords by just 36 Conservative hereditary peers.
“It’s hard to overstate just how ludicrous this is. It is less than a thousandth of the Chesham and Amersham mandate, with an average of just 12 votes per Lord.”
Sullivan said the aristrocrats can now vote on UK’s laws, claim £323 per day tax-free – not for five years as the time MPs are elected for, but for life.
Sullivan said: “This process is an insult to voters, who head to the polls in their thousands to be heard, while our legislature keeps being packed by a handful of unaccountable Lords. It would be funny if the stakes were not so high.
“How is it that a few dozen aristocrats can still – in 2021 – have more sway than thousands of voters?”
He added: “We urgently need to modernise this private members’ club and make sure these so-called elections are the last. It’s time to scrap hereditary peerages for good, as a stepping stone to real reform. We need a proportionally-elected revising chamber that’s fit for purpose.
“It’s the people, not peers who should decide on who makes our laws. For that we need a genuinely democratic upper house at last.”
Chesham and Amersham
In yesterday’s by-election, the Tories have suffered a humiliating defeat in their own stronghold, which has been so since its creation in 1974.
Lib Dem Sarah Green managed to win with 21,517 votes, securing a majority of 8,028 over the Tories.
“This Conservative Party has taken people across the country for granted for far too long,” Green said.
She added: “the voice of Chesham and Amersham is unmistakable. Together we have said, ‘Enough is enough, we will be heard and this Government will listen’.
“This campaign has shown that no matter where you live, or how supposedly safe a constituency may appear to be, if you want a Liberal Democrat member of Parliament, you can have a Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament.”
The Greens obtained 1,480 votes, which placed them on the third place.
Labour only obtained 622 votes, and lost their deposit.