THAT part of the UK Parliament is made up of an unelected chamber with real powers over legislation is a democratic abomination.

It is now nearly 20 years since Tony Blair’s first government removed the right of most hereditary peers to vote on UK laws. Yet the Lords remain a highly influential body, with the power to revise and delay legislation from elected MPs. While the influence of hereditary peerages has waned, membership of the Lords is based almost exclusively on patronage. MPs who have either retired or been rejected by voters find themselves returned as Lords. The Prime Minister of the day, and opposition leaders, can bestow seats on favoured supporters. The elevation to the Lords of Tory-supporting Michelle Mone was symptomatic of all that is wrong with this system.

Mone, along with others supporters of Cameron, were handed lifetime membership of London’s most exclusive club. The Glaswegian businesswoman’s transformation into Baroness Mone of Mayfair was viewed by many as reward for her support of the campaign against Scottish independence in 2014. Mone’s tally of just two speeches in the Lords since her ennoblement in September 2015 is the lowest of those appointed at the same time as her.

The Sunday Herald has long argued for an elected second chamber in the UK Parliament – and as such, we believe Mone and the whole 794-strong membership of the Lords do not deserve to vote on laws impacting the lives of citizens based purely on patronage or birth-right. The archaic institute must go.