• THE HOUSE OF LORDS/Expenses: Lords who do not vote claim £100k - report

    791 peers  currently sit in the Lords, but they are not elected,

    while The UK public elects 650 Members of Parliament (MPs)

    to represent their interests and concerns in the House of Commons.

    1) The House of Lords is the largest parliamentary chamber in any democracy. It is surpassed in size only by China’s National People’s Congress (2987 members), and membership of the Lords is growing steadily. Not only has membership of the Lords increased from 662 members in 1999 to 792 in 2011, but it is potentially set to reach 1062 as a result of the coalition’s commitment to achieve proportionality in line with the 2010 general election outcome.

    2) The House of Lords is one of a small number of parliamentary chambers globally to include no directly- or indirectly-elected members whatsoever.Nowhere else in Europe is there an all-appointed second chamber. The concept seems to be quintessentially British, limited to the UK and a few other Commonwealth countries.It needs perhaps to be recognised that many functioning democracies operate with only one legislative chamber: however, in almost all cases the power of the executive and/or a parliamentary majority is circumscribed by a written constitution and the existence of an independent institution to arbitrate on ‘constitutional issues’. Half the member states ofthe EU have no second chamber, but they do tend to be the smaller countries. Apart from the UK those with second chambers elect all or almost all the members – directly or indirectly.

    The UK has no written constitution.

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