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Martin Ivens

Britain’s House of Lords Is a National Embarrassment

Both Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak have pledged to cut the size of the state. Where better to start than with the home of institutionalized sleaze?

The scandals keep coming.

The scandals keep coming.

Photographer: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images Europe

The biggest political assembly in the world outside of China’s National People’s Congress is Britain’s House of Lords. It is, alas, a national embarrassment in keeping with its size.

With good reason, the chamber is derided as “The House of Cronies.” The 800-strong upper house of the UK Parliament approaches its Beijing equivalent in democratic deficit, being largely appointed at the whim of the prime minister of the day, on increasingly murky criteria. According to the latest opinion polls, more than 70% of voters want it reformed.