LABOUR have been slammed for dumping another key promise to voters after reports suggested the party is set to row back on plans to abolish the House of Lords.

In December last year, Keir Starmer insisted that the unelected chamber was "indefensible" and his party would replace it with an Assembly of the Nations and Regions.

The plans were first published in a report on the UK’s constitutional future, penned by former prime minister Gordon Brown.

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But just a few months later, the Guardian reports that Labour will take a more cautious approach and water down the pledge, and instead only commit to limited changes.

This could mean simply legislating to abolish the current 91 hereditary peers, but keeping the second chamber itself.

The reports prompted fury from the SNP who said it was an “indictment” of Starmer’s leadership that he was willing to drop the policy to get into power at Westminster.

Labour is understood to also be backing away from its £28 billion a year commitment on green investment and plans for a national care service, in a bid to make the party’s manifesto “bomb proof” from Tory attacks during the General Election campaign.

The National: Mhairi Black

Mhairi Black MP (above), the SNP’s Deputy Leader at Westminster, said: “The Labour party has been promising significant reform of the House of Lords for the best part of a century - yet here we are in 2024 with a bloated, archaic institution rammed full of unelected cronies surpassed in size only by the Chinese National Congress.

“Nobody in Scotland will be shocked by news that Labour has dumped plans to abolish the Lords, with all the main UK parties working to keep their pals in Westminster in highly-paid jobs for life, but it is an indictment of Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership that he is willing to throw yet another key promise to voters on the bonfire in his bid for power.

“At the expense of democracy, Labour chiefs are boasting the move will help shield the party’s manifesto from Tory attacks.

“Let me tell you, if you’ve penned a manifesto that even the Tories can’t attack – then you’ve written a Tory manifesto.”

Black added that it seemed the closer Starmer gets to power in Downing Street, the “further he gets from his principles and promises”.

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“The undemocratic House of Lords is just part of a wider broken Westminster system that doesn’t share the values or priorities of the people of Scotland,” she added.

“The SNP is the only party that will stand up for Scotland’s values at Westminster and defend Scotland’s right to choose a better future.”

There were 667 appointed life peers and 91 hereditary peers in the House of Lords as of December 2023.

There are a considerably larger amount of Tory peers than other parties, with 270 taking seats in the Lords, while Labour has 175, the LibDems 80, DUP six, Ulster Unionist Party two, Green Party two and Plaid Cymru one. And, there are 183 crossbench peers, as well as 26 bishops.

The National: House of Lords

Male peers also dominate the second chamber (556) compared to their female counterparts (228).

It comes after Labour’s shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves admitted last week that the party would not reinstate the cap on banker’s bonuses, lifted by Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng in their disastrous mini-budget.

Reeves also spent a significant amount of time attempting to woo the global financial elite in Davos at the World Economic Forum earlier this year.

We also told how there were calls for reforms to the process of appointing peers after David Cameron was ennobled so he could to take on the role of Foreign Secretary.