In the wake of charges of Tory “sleaze,” Andrew Neil has called for the House of Lords to be disbanded entirely.
It comes after the Conservative Party was accused of giving seats in the Lords to wealthy contributors who gave more than £3 million to the party.
Meanwhile, there has been significant speculation that Owen Paterson, who resigned as MP for North Shropshire on Thursday after the government reversed its decision on his suspension from Parliament, may be given a peerage.
On Sunday night, government sources told the Guardian that No10 had “no intention” of bestowing a peerage on Mr Paterson “at all.”
Mr Neil tweeted this evening, “Can we not just abolish the Lords? Not reform it. Abolish it.”
“Why should anyone in 21st century Britain be called Lord?” he said.
“If the heredities want to keep it as a title among themselves, fine. For the rest of us, why not plain Mr or Ms?”
In a letter to Lord Bew, head of the House of Lords Appointments Commission, Labour leader Keir Starmer claimed that appointing Mr Paterson a Lord would “undermine the confidence in the probity of Parliament.”
On Saturday, former Prime Minister Sir John Major stated that a peerage for Mr Paterson would be “rather extraordinary” and called Boris Johnson’s government “shameful.”
Another Tory treasurer, Lord Farmer, claimed it had become “a tradition” for Conservative Prime Ministers to bestow a peerage to the party’s top fundraiser.
“The stench of sleaze emanating from Boris Johnson’s Government grows by the day,” Labour Party chairwoman Anneliese Dodds warned last night.
Within the Conservative Party, there is also concern about the “cash for access” ethos.
Six former Conservative ministers told the Sunday Times that they were very concerned about the practice.
“We do not believe that successful business people and philanthropists who contribute to political causes and parties should be disqualified from sitting in the legislature,” a Conservative spokeswoman stated.