David Hanson has blasted the House of Lords blasted as undemocratic
David Hanson, MP for Delyn insisted the system of hereditary peers should be abolished to prevent other countries looking at Britain with “ridicule”.
Speaking in Westminster Hall, Mr Hanson claimed British diplomats would protest if Lenin’s descendants won automatic seats in Russia, or if Nelson Mandela obtained a free pass to rule South Africa.
The 59-year-old asked MPs to imagine being a “foreign democracy starting across the vast oceans of the Channel and looking at Great Britain in the 21st century”.
He said: "I venture to suggest we might be looked at with ridicule."
The Tory peer 65-year-old Lord Colgrain won the 'hereditary peer by-election' earlier this week after the death of previous holder Lord Lyell.
Images from inside the House of Lords: Peers have voted to guarantee EU citizens' rights Wed, March 1, 2017
The House of Lords voted overwhelmingly in favour of an amendment to the Prime Minister’s proposed Brexit legislation
PA 1 of 11
A packed House of Lords, London, as the Government is facing possible defeat in the House of Lords as peers push for guarantees over the rights of EU nationals living in the UK after Brexit
Votes are held when one of the 90 remaining hereditary peers dies, resigns or is expelled.
Mr Hanson said one hereditary peer got his title because an ancestor was one of the first to swear allegiance to James I on Scottish soil.
He told MPs: "It’s not a game. This matters because this is about a seat in Parliament."
The Labour MP added: “And if it [Britain] were a foreign country and we were looking at them, we might be looking at representations in the United Nations, sanctions for lack of democracy, pressure on that government."
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
In December, Labour’s Lord Grocott put a bill forward which would have removed the election process used to fill vacancies of the hereditary peers.
David Hanson slammed the peerage system in a heated Westminster debate
But Conservative Viscount Trenchard rejected the bid as the "presence of the hereditaries in this House is seen as a continuation of a great tradition".
He added: "It is a link with history and therefore I think that those who wish to end the hereditary principle for topping up the 92 hereditary peers make a mistake."