SCOTLAND’S “unrepresentative” Unionist Lords are costing the taxpayer almost £3 million in expenses each year, according to new research.

The analysis, carried out by the SNP’s Tommy Sheppard, revealed a widening divergence between Scotland’s representatives in the upper chamber, and the population of Scotland as a whole.

Sheppard’s report identifies 87 members of the House of Lords who he says could be regarded as Scotland’s peers.

The majority of those Lords are privately educated men over the age of 65.

According to the report’s analysis, not one of the 87 peers supports or is even sympathetic towards Scottish independence.

The paper says this “homogenity amongst Scotland’s peers is remarkable and bizarre given that 45% of those who voted in the 2014 independence referendum (a total of 1,617,989) voted for Scottish independence”.

Almost all members of the House of Lords are appointed by the Tories, Labour and the LibDems.

When a peer takes their seat, they sit for life and can attend more or less when they wish, never facing re-appointment, or facing any form of re-election.

The SNP historically don’t take up their seats in the Lords.

The research comes after a slew of new appointments following both the General Election and Theresa May’s resignation as Tory leader.

READ MORE: House of Lords report in numbers

The enfeebled ex-prime minister ennobled key aides while her successor Boris Johnson appointed two of his former MPs so that they could keep their ministerial jobs.

Downing Street is due to make more appointments in the coming weeks. It’s understood former Tory MPs and two controversial Brexit backing donors will be among those given a title.

The National: Tommy Sheppard said that the SNP will be voracious in their campaigning against the LordsTommy Sheppard said that the SNP will be voracious in their campaigning against the Lords


According to the SNP’s paper, the total expense bill of Scotland’s peers between the beginning of October 2017 and the end of September 2018 was £2,939,035.

Despite having just 1.7% of Scotland’s MPs, Labour make up 33% of Scotland’s Lords.

The Tories, who have 10% of the MPs, have 30% of the Lords, and the LibDems, who have 6.7% of Scotland’s seats in the Commons, make up 15% of the upper chamber.

The report identifies 22 hereditary peers amongst Scotland’s 87.

Eleven of those are Tories, while nine are crossbenchers, and the remaining two are LibDems.

READ MORE: Soaring champagne sales in the Lords enough to ‘make voters sick’

Sheppard said the research was intended to kick-start discussion about how to bring to an end “the perverse status quo that the House of Lords sustains and represents”.

He said: “This report is further evidence that the House of Lords fails at every level to give any semblance of representation or respect to the views, character and aspirations of the Scottish people – it is a key contributor to this broken Westminster system.

“The Lords is an institution which should have no authority or standing in any place wishing to claim the title of a modern democracy and the SNP has consistently campaigned for it to be abolished.

“We will remain the most vociferous and active party in our opposition to an institution which remains a hangover from history – the sooner this unaccountable financial drain is abolished, the better.”

The report also reveals that the most expensive peer for taxpayers is David Steel.

The National: David Steel is the most expensive Scottish Lord sitting in the HouseDavid Steel is the most expensive Scottish Lord sitting in the House

The former LibDem leader claimed total expenses of £58,492 and attended the chamber on 99 days.

The second most expensive is the crossbencher, Earl of Stair, John Dalrymple. The hereditary peer, who is a second cousin of the Prince of Wales, claimed £17,405 for 34 days work over 12 months.

Scotland’s other peers include Lord Pearson of Rannoch, the right-wing former leader of Ukip. He quit the party in October bemoaning the lack of “debate about Islamism”.

When Glasgow businesswoman Michelle Mone was elevated to the Lords by David Cameron in 2015, she said: “I look forward to playing a full and active role in your Lordships’ House.”

However, she has spoken in the chamber just four times in four years.

Last year, despite the Brexit crisis, she barely turned up at all, casting votes on just four days.

The SNP’s research was published as reports suggest Johnson is considering plans to scrap the House of Lords and replace it with a chamber for “the nations and regions”.

READ MORE: There’s an obvious way for Scotland to get rid of the Lords system

A proposal, drawn up by Lord Salisbury, would see Lords elected to seats rather than being appointed by sitting prime ministers.

That would mean giving a number of spaces to peers from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It would also, the Tories believe, bring in more Lords from the north of England.

According to the Sunday Times, the new plan will be looked at as part of a commission on the constitution.

The paper’s source said: “Lord Salisbury produced a paper that set out a blueprint to turn it into the House of the Nations and Regions.

“He has spoken to Boris about it. It attracts their attention a great deal. The Lords is one of those areas where they can have a couple of fights.”