LABOUR’S proposals to reform the House of Lords are not even half-baked – and the Conservatives should be brought on board with any changes, a senior Labour figure has said.

Peter Mandelson, a former Cabinet secretary and key figure in Tony Blair’s New Labour, hit out at his own party’s plans to abolish the House of Lords and replace it with a reformed, elected upper chamber.

The plans had been first proposed by former prime minister Gordon Brown – who made Mandelson a life peer and brought him back into Cabinet in 2008 – in a constitutional report commissioned by Labour leader Keir Starmer.

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But Mandelson said the plans had been put forward without “substantive discussion” and that Labour was pledging an “abracadabra” moment of change without a solid proposal.

Speaking to the “Lord Speaker’s Corner” podcast – hosted by the Speaker of the House of Lords John McFall – Mandelson said: “I think that we’ve got to have a far deeper conversation and analysis about this than has taken place to date.

“We haven’t had a substantive discussion about it in our own party, let alone a debate in the country. And yet we’re told six months away from a General Election, all this is going to happen, abracadabra, in the first term of a Labour government.

“I mean, there are real issues of principle.”

Mandelson suggested there was no consensus on the reforms which should take place, suggesting that Brown’s proposals were too radical in suggesting a more federalised UK with a written constitution.

The peer said Brown’s plans had “barely been put in the oven yet, let alone fully baked,” and said that opposition parties like the Conservatives should be brought on board.

“These proposals are too controversial to be slipped through and not debated,” he said. “They need bipartisan support and cannot be pushed through by a majority vote of the Labour party.”

Whether Labour will actually abolish the House of Lords is up for debate.

In direct contradiction to Mandelson’s claims, in 2022 Labour leader Starmer told his party’s peers that there was strong support for reform of the Lords, both across party lines and among the public.

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He said that Lords reform would happen in the first term of a Labour government, telling the Guardian: “I want to be clear that we do need to restore the trust of the public in every part of the United Kingdom in our system of government. House of Lords reform is just one part of that …

"People have lost faith in the ability of politicians and politics to bring about change – that is why, as well as fixing our economy, we need to fix our politics.”

However, reports last month in outlets including the FT and the Observer confirmed that Starmer’s party has now ditched its commitment to abolishing the Lords.

The U-turn comes despite a YouGov poll finding that 59% of people would support abolishing the upper house, including a massive 72% of 2019 Labour voters.

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Green MSP Maggie Chapman said that Mandelson's proposals to get the Tories on board with Lords reform were meant as a way to kick change "into the longest of grass".

She said: "The House of Lords is a ridiculous and archaic institution. It's not the sort of thing that can be tweaked or reformed as its very existence is fundamentally anti-democratic.

"One of the biggest obstacles to reform will be the Lords themselves, who will fight tooth and nail to protect their totally unwarranted privilege.

"Trying to forge some kind of consensus and agreement with the Tories about its future would be to kick it into the longest of grass, and I expect Lord Mandelson knows that.

"One of the many benefits of Scottish independence is that it will allow us to move on and build a proper modern democracy rather than being stuck with this undemocratic relic."