Brexit campaign chair sworn in to Lords as Boris plans to pack Chamber with Leavers -WATCH
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The former Labour MP has been rewarded by Boris Johnson with a seat in the House of Lords. Ms Stuart was previously the MP for Birmingham Edgbaston from 1997 until 2017 when she stepped down.
Taking the oath in the Chamber this afternoon, Ms Stuart said: “I Gisela Baroness Stuart of Edgbaston do swear by all mighty god that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to her majesty Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and successors according to law, so help me god.”
Mr Johnson has given peerages to a number of Brexiteers since becoming Prime Minister.
In August he appointed 36 new peers to the House of Lords, including several notable Brexit campaigners, two former Tory chancellors, supportive allies from his time in London City Hall, and his newspaper propeiotor Evgeny Lebedev.
Downing Street said the additions to the Chamber were need to maintain the “expertise” within the House of Lords.
The Prime Minister privately believes there are too many peers.
He also thinks there is a Remainer-bias in the Lords. However, wth peers holding their position for life – unless they voluntarily give it up – increasing the size of the house by adding more Brexiteers was the only easy option for balancing out the number of Remainers.
There are currently 830 peers in the House of Lords and Mr Johnson has come under pressure to reform the process of selection.
Last month the CEO of the Electoral Reform Society outlined that peers within the House of Lords must have a democratic connection with the public in order to improve accountability.
Darren Hughes told Express.co.uk without a connection to the public the peers in the second chamber will only be interested in the opinion of the political establishment.
The campaigner also stated there is no way into the House of Lords for members of the public with expertise but no connection to Westminster.
He said: “I think there has got to be a democratic connection from the public to these members of the second chamber.
“As long as there is no democratic connection and no accountability to the people then they will only be interested in the opinion of the political establishment.
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“For all the talk of it having expertise, if you are an ordinary person on the street but you don’t know anyone in Westminster, you will never get yourself in there.
“So I think that the main problem is this disconnection between the job they are doing there and the people of the country.
“I think for as long as that happens you are going to get people appointed there for political reasons who find a way around the system in order to get the title, membership, the access to Westminster and basically sign up to get the expenses while doing a very minimal amount of work.
“That is unfair on people that take it seriously because there are 830 of them and there are 100 who don’t take it seriously.”
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