Labour categorically rejects the idea of immediately filling the House of Lords with party members following the election.

Labour has rejected the immediate appointment of dozens of peers in the House of Lords if Keir Starmer becomes the next Prime Minister.

The Labour leader has revised his previous plans to abolish the Lords and replace it with an elected second chamber during his first term.

Angela Smith, the Labour leader in the Lords, stated that the party would need to increase its numbers to match the Tories, who currently have over 100 more peers. However, she dismissed the notion that Starmer would quickly appoint his own peers following an election victory.

In an interview with the House magazine, Smith said, “It’s unrealistic to think that Keir Starmer would have a list of 100 people ready to appoint on day one… We can’t make it a numbers game, trying to surpass them. That’s not the purpose of the House of Lords.”

When asked about the number of peers that could be appointed, Smith replied, “I don’t have a specific number, but I know that’s not Keir’s intention. He wouldn’t want to go down that path.”

Party insiders have previously indicated that a fully elected second chamber remains a long-term goal, with a focus on removing the remaining hereditary peers in the first term. The party also aims to enhance the authority of the body responsible for peerage appointments to prevent unsuitable individuals from receiving peerages.

Smith previously emphasized that passing legislation in Parliament is a priority, even if it means increasing the size of the House of Lords.

In addition to House of Lords reform, Labour’s initial years in power would be dedicated to economic growth and improving living standards. The party’s manifesto would include measures such as banning zero-hours contracts and reducing qualifying periods for basic rights.

Former Labour MP and lord speaker, John McFall, has cautioned against hasty changes to the House of Lords, advocating for incremental reforms instead.

The House of Lords currently consists of 174 Labour peers, 274 Conservatives, 84 Lib Dems, and 183 crossbenchers.

Peter Mandelson, a former business secretary, warned Labour that attempting substantial changes to the upper chamber without cross-party support could lead to disagreement and complications.

Mandelson stated, “You can either focus on grandstanding and pushing for abolition or you can genuinely pursue reform… It’s not a quick or easy process, and it can’t be achieved solely by the Labour party’s agreement. We need to work with everyone else.”

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