UK Politics

Jeremy Corbyn insists new Labour peers back scrapping the Lords

Jeremy Corbyn Image copyright PA

Jeremy Corbyn will not appoint any Labour peers that do not support abolishing the House of Lords, his spokesman has said.

The party's newest peers - ex general secretary Iain McNicol, campaigner Martha Osamor and writer Pauline Bryan - have all signed up to the principle.

The Labour leader would expect them to vote to abolish the Lords if they get the opportunity.

Labour supports a democratically-elected second chamber.

Mr Corbyn's spokesman said: "It's absurd that we still have this undemocratic anachronism in the 21st century and when Labour is elected we will carry through that pledge.

"The commitment is clear and anyone who is appointed to the House of Lords under the existing rules from the Labour party is required to support that policy."

Mr Corbyn is thought to be the first Labour leader in recent times to make such a stipulation.

Before announcing the party's three new peers on Friday, he had only nominated one person, Shami Chakrabarti, for a peerage since becoming leader in 2016.

Prime Minister Theresa May told MPs at Prime Minster's Questions she had overseen a reduction in the size of the Lords, which with more than 800, is one of the biggest legislative chambers in the world.

But the SNP's Pete Wishart said the nine new Tory peers she had recently appointed, including former MPs and ministers, was a "complete fix" following Tory rebellions on Brexit votes.