How undemocratic is the House of Lords?

2 Oct 2018

Democratic Audit: For our 2018 Audit of UK Democracy, Sonali CampionSean Kippin and the Democratic Audit team examine how the UK’s deeply controversial current second chamber, the House of Lords, matches up to the criteria for liberal democracies with bi-cameral legislatures. Now an almost-all appointed Chamber, the Lords has achieved recent prominence on Brexit and tax credits by exerting some bipartisan influence moderating Commons proposals. However, its members remain creatures of patronage, and wholly unaccountable to the UK’s citizens. All parties except the Tories now support its replacement by an elected Senate. Increasingly only the Tories and Liberal Democrats are still appointing any peers – although there are also a fifth of peers who are ‘crossbenchers’, not taking a party whip.