Prime Minister David Cameron appears to have broken another promise, claiming that he will “consider” more UKIP members of the House of Lords over the course of this parliament, meaning it could be 2020 or afterwards before Nigel Farage’s party gets more representation in Britain’s upper parliamentary chamber.
During the last parliament, Mr Cameron had promised that new peers would be appointed on the basis of vote share, rather than the number of Members of Parliament or otherwise. But now he’s reneging on his claim, stating:
“I have committed previously to keeping the party peers under review and will, of course, give further consideration to the points you raise when we come to consider recommendations over the course of this parliament.”
But Lord Pearson of Rannoch, a former leader of the UK Independence Party has slammed the decision, telling the Telegraph: “The coalition’s policy – to which the coalition signed up but failed to execute – was to appoint peers according to the votes cast in the previous General Election.
“This was not a good policy because one of the strengths of the Lords was that it did not reflect the composition of the Commons, but the present situation is obviously wrong.”
He is one of just three UKIP peers in the House of Lords, alongside Lord Stevens, and Lord Willoughby de Broke.
By comparison, there are 227 Conservative Party peers, 212 Labour, and 102 Liberal Democrats. UKIP won 3.8 million votes at the general election, with the Lib Dems obtaining just 2.4 million. The Liberal Democrats have eight Members of the House of Commons, and UKIP has just one. The Scottish National Party won just 1.4 million votes in May, but took 56 seats.