As he spoke about his concerns with trying to pass legislation, Jacob Rees-Mogg criticised the House of Lords for being “stuffed to the guns with Lefties.”
The upper house of Parliament has been accused of obstructing the government’s efforts to approve legislation. Between 2016 and 2019, unelected peers were blamed for frequently altering laws in an attempt to sabotage Brexit.
Mr Rees-Mogg expressed his dissatisfaction with the Lords while speaking at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.
“The legislative process is quite a long and complex one,” he remarked.
“So, you have a brilliant idea in a manifesto, you have page after page of ideas.”
“Then you have to turn them into detailed policies, and then you have to turn them into text.”
“And then you have to get them through the House of Commons and once you’ve done that you’ve got to get them through the House of Lords which is stuffed to the guns with Lefties so that’s quite difficult.”
He claimed that knowing “what their concerns will be” was the key to passing legislation through the Lords.
It would then be feasible to “try and create something [as a Bill] that you can then get through” Parliament, according to the North East Somerset MP. Mr Rees-Mogg’s role as Leader of the House of Commons is critical in transforming bills into new legislation.
The House of Lords is the world’s second-largest legislative chamber, only being surpassed by China’s National People’s Congress. Boris Johnson has stated that he wants the chamber to be smaller.
It now has over 800 members, implying that there are more unelected politicians in the UK Parliament than MPs.
The Prime Minister, on the other hand, has crammed the red benches of the Upper House with allies in order to make it easier for Conservative legislation to pass and overcome Left-wing opposition.
Since becoming government, he has appointed 79 peers, roughly double the amount appointed by Theresa May. Mr Johnson has made a number of high-profile Brexiteer appointments in an attempt to diminish what he regards as a Remainer bias in the chamber.
Former Labour Leaver MPs Kate Hoey and Gisela Stuart, as well as ex-Tory MEP Dan Hannan and England cricket icon Ian Botham, have all been handed seats in the Lords. Campaigners want the chamber to be drastically reduced in size or eliminated entirely to make it more democratic.
“PMs can appoint unlimited numbers of their friends and cronies, skewing our politics and fuelling distrust,” said Willie Sullivan, Senior Director at the Electoral Reform Society.
“We need a leaner, proportionally-elected revising chamber that can’t genuinely stand up for the nations and regions of the UK.”
“While some peers work very hard, the lack of accountability means others can turn up and claim expenses without scrutiny.
“It’s time to move on from an oversized private member’s club, to give voters the revising chamber we need.”
“The average size of a second chamber around the world is about 100 members – far slimmer than the bloated House of Lords,” he continued.