Lord Speaker Norman Fowler urges Boris Johnson to stop making 'mass' of new peers

Lord Speaker Norman Fowler urges Boris Johnson to stop making 'mass' of new peers

The Lord Speaker has urged the Prime Minister to stop creating 'mass' peerages and labelled the size of the upper chamber 'ridiculous' following the nomination of 36 appointees. Boris Johnson was accused of 'the worst kind of cronyism' after putting forward his brother Jo Johnson, several Tory grandees and his chief strategic adviser for peerages. Numerous Brexit-backers are also set to head to the Lords after Downing Street revealed its new list on Friday. Evgeny Lebedev, the son of a former KGB agent, who owns the Evening Standard and The Independent was also put forward by Mr Johnson - just days after the intelligence and security committee warned of the growing influence of a 'Russian elite' in British life. Norman Fowler, the Lord Speaker, said Mr Johnson was encouraging 'passenger' peers by failing to tackle the size of the Lords, which will have almost 200 members more than the Commons with the new intake. According to reports, 88 peers – one in nine – have not spoken, held a Government post or participated in a committee, while 46 have never recorded a vote. It follows a report by Lord Burns in 2017 which proposed the number of peers be reduced to 600 – a move backed by the unelected House. Former Conservative cabinet minister Lord Fowler lamented the U-turn on the promise by Theresa May, Mr Johnson's predecessor at Number 10, to use 'restraint' in appointing members to the Lords. Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Lord Fowler said: 'I do think the Prime Minister has ...
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