THE Labour Party is apparently considering replacing the House of Lords with an assembly of regions and nations as part of a constitutional review led by former prime minister Gordon Brown.

The draft review also suggests handing new economic powers, including over tax, to local regions and devolved nations, according to the Guardian.

The newspaper reported that measures under consideration included allowing local democratically elected bodies to promote bills in Parliament, giving citizens a constitutional guarantee of social and economic rights, and handing mayors power over local education, transport and research funding.

READ MORE: Scotland may get 'everything but independence' under Gordon Brown's review

A new ethics panel could see a jury of citizens rule on complaints against MPs as part of a wider crackdown on standards in Parliament.

Second jobs for MPs could be banned and a new code of conduct could replace the ministerial code under the proposals.

Labour did not deny the reporting but stressed that the commission’s work is ongoing.

A Labour spokesperson said: “This refers to one of several early drafts. The commission has yet to take a view on all these issues.”

Party leader Sir Keir Starmer commissioned Unionist campaigner Brown, who was in Number 10 from 2007 to 2010, to lead the review into possible reforms last September.

Brown has been keen to argue that Scots would prefer a reformed UK to an independent Scotland, but the latest British Social Attitudes Survey found that not to be the case when respondents were asked to choose how best to govern Scotland.

The new figures show that 52% back independence, while support for devolution has dropped to 38%. Just 8% now think there should be no Scottish Parliament.

What are Scottish independence supporters saying?

The promises have not been well received among Scottish independence supporters, who argue that the policies have been heard several times before and have never come to fruition. 

Ahead of the 2014 independence vote, for example, the main UK parties agreed to provide more powers to Scotland if Scots backed No. But many argue the vision promised as part of "The Vow" has never been realised.

And it's certainly not the first time Labour have floated the idea of abolishing the Lords. It was a passionate cause of their founder Keir Hardie during the late 20th-century, yet the Lords continues to operate today.

"Brown peddling same hollow promises as usual," noted SNP MSP for Stirling, Evelyn Tweed. "If he thought these changes were beneficial he had the opportunity to execute them as Prime Minister. He didn't. This is merely a continuation of the Better Together charade to try & dupe Scots."

Meanwhile, the SNP's Westminster deputy leader Kirsten Oswald was equally unimpressed.

"Independence is the only way for Scotland to escape the damage of Westminster control and secure the permanent change needed to build a fair, green and prosperous future," she said in response to the leak.

"Gordon Brown's vague and flimsy review is a total flop that offers Scotland nothing. It would give Scotland zero protection from Brexit, Westminster austerity cuts, power grabs and repeated Tory governments we don't vote for.

The National: Kirsten Oswald. Photograph: PAKirsten Oswald. Photograph: PA (Image: PA)

"Worse still, the review is so weak and watered-down, that it actually breaks the promises that Mr Brown previously made and failed to deliver in 2014, when he pledged Scotland would have the maximum possible devolution and closest thing to federalism within two years."

The MP went on: "The fact that Mr Brown is left rehashing the same old stale commitment to abolish the House of Lords, which the Labour Party has repeatedly made and broken for more than a hundred years, tells you everything you need to know.

"The only way to guarantee Scotland always gets the governments we vote for is to become an independent country with the power to escape Brexit, end Tory cuts, and build a fairer society."

READ MORE: Wee Ginger Dug: New poll shows direction of travel for Scotland

Author and National columnist Gerry Hassan was particularly critical of the speed of progress from Brown. 

"The Labour Party still inching at a snail's pace towards what Gordon Brown calls 'nearly federalism' without it actually being federalism or anything like it," he commented. "Still retaining [First Past the Post] & against a written constitution despite all the many abuses of central government."

SNP MSP Gillian Martin added: "Easy to promise something when you’ve no responsibility to deliver. Wasn’t so pressing to deliver when he HAD the responsibility though, eh?"

Criticism did not come from independence supporters only. There was little support for the policies from former Tory MSP and academic Adam Tomkins. 

"Has anyone ever met any Yes voter who would vote No if only the House of Lords was abolished and replaced?" he asked. "Why oh why does GB think this is how to save the Union?"