Ukip’s Member of Parliament Douglas Carswell was this morning mocked in the House of Commons for daring to ask whether the government would be willing to consider making the House of Lords more politically representative.
During the last government, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats agreed in their Coalition Programme for Government to appoint new peers with the intention of making the upper chamber proportionately representative of the results at the last general election.
On page 27 of the agreement, the text read: “Lords appointments will be made with the objective of creating a second chamber that is reflective of the share of the vote secured by the political parties in the last general election.”
In the event, that never happened. This morning Mr Carswell asked the Leader of the House of Commons whether a debate could be held to discuss such a system. If instated, Ukip would be in line to gain anywhere between 74 and 159 new peers to add to its current three, depending on whether the House was prepared to lose peers currently in place or not.
Breitbart London has already highlighted the issue of Ukip under-representation in the House of Lords.
Following an address by Mr Grayling, Mr Carswell stood up in the Commons to ask him: “Will the leader of the house consider a debate to ensure that the upper house is more fairly representative of the broad spectrum of political opinion in this country so that it might at least try and retain the pretence of legitimacy?”
The question drew laughs from Members of Parliament on the Conservative benches.
But rather than answer the question, Mr Grayling decided to play to his Conservative audience by saying “there aren’t many Ukip peers in the House of Lords; I expect he’s feeling lonely.”
Watch the full exchange here.
UPDATE: Mr Carswell has told Breitbart London: “It doesn’t feel lonely at all. I might be the only UKIP my in Parliament, but there are 4 million folk alongside me in the country. They want fair representation – and if Parliament is to retain its legitimacy, it will have to change.”