KEIR Starmer has been called out across the political spectrum after his party revealed plans to “appoint dozens” of new Labour peers to the House of Lords – despite having repeatedly pledged to abolish it altogether.

Scrapping the Lords formed a key plank of Starmer’s promises during his bid to become Labour leader, and in December, he told Sky News that he hoped to do away with the upper chamber altogether in his first term as prime minister.

But reports which emerged in The Times late on Tuesday quoted one shadow minister as saying a Labour-run UK Government would appoint “dozens of [new peers], at least”.

A second source told that paper that abolishing the Lords was “hardly mission critical”.

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Labour were also said to be planning to use those newly appointed Lords as ministers in government, amid what some senior party figures see as a lack of experience or talent among its MPs.

Labour’s argument is understood to be that the Lords is currently heavily weighted against them. According to the House of Lords’ website, there are 263 Tory peers, 183 crossbench, 84 LibDem, and 174 Labour peers.

There are also concerns that the Labour peers are too old, while the Conservatives have younger faces on the red benches.

Rather than abolishing the Lords – which would solve any issues Labour has with its makeup – Starmer is instead planning to try to stack it in his favour.

The U-turn on his key policy has been called out by both SNP and Conservative politicians.

“You simply cannot believe anything Starmer says,” SNP constitution spokesperson Tommy Sheppard said.


He added: "Labour have been promising to abolish the House of Lords for 113 years, but they lack the backbone for any meaningful action.

"It will come as no surprise to voters in Scotland that, yet again, Sir Keir Starmer’s party is U-turning on another pledge. They're up to their old sleekit tricks again, and voters across the country can see right through their hollow promises."

SNP MP Chris Law added: “Stuffing the unelected house is Labour’s plans for electoral reform. If it behaves like a Tory……?”

And councillor Andrea Cowan added: “Sir Keir was never going to abolish the House of Lords – just another line he used when he felt it was needed.”

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Tory employment minister Guy Opperman said he “thought Sir Keir had pledged to abolish the House of Lords”, while his Conservative MP colleague Mark Jenkinson wrote: “I thought Sir Flip-Flop was against handing out peerages and was going to abolish the House of Lords?”

Amid recent controversy around Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list, Starmer pledged to never create one of his own.

Starmer has also previously ruled out reforming Westminster’s “First Past the Post” voting system – which tends to produce majority governments – in favour of proportional representation – which more accurately represents how a populace votes.

Reports of Labour’s plan to stack the Lords with friendly figures come as Westminster’s Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee launches an inquiry into the upper chamber.

William Wragg, the committee’s chair, noted that there has “long been concern about its size, membership and the appointments process”.

“Previous inquiries from parliamentary committees concluded with clear recommendations to reduce the size of the chamber and reform the appointments process to maintain confidence in the Lords,” Wragg said.

"The Government committed to review the matter, yet five years on we have seen no sign of reform, and large numbers of new members continue to be appointed."

Since taking over as Labour leader, Starmer has also ditched pledges to nationalise energy, water, rail, and the Royal Mail, abolish tuition fees, and raise taxes on the highest earners.