Keir Starmer abandons pledge to abolish House of Lords

The Labour leader has gone back on a number of policy promises in recent months

Keir Starmer abandons pledge to abolish House of Lords

Keir Starmer has refused to commit to his leadership election pledge to abolish the House of Lords.

Asked on Sunday whether he stood by the promise made in 2019, the Labour leader would only say the institution “needs change”.

But during his leadership campaign, Sir Keir made 10 pledges – including a commitment to “abolish the House of Lords” and “replace it with an elected chamber of regions and nations”.

He was asked about the policy on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show in light of reports that the Conservative Party has been offering peerages to wealthy benefactors as a “reward” for large donations.

“We certainly need change in the House of Lords. What I’ve done, Andrew, is I’ve set up a commission to look at the future of the UK, including the institutions such as the House of Lords. Gordon Brown is leading that and I’ll look at it,” he said.

When asked if he had abandoned the promise to abolish the chamber which votes on all government legislation, he said: “I’ve said we need to change the House of Lords – I stand by that. I’ve asked Gordon Brown to look into exactly what those changes should be.”

And the Lords pledge is not the first to be abandoned by Sir Keir after winning the Labour leadership election.

The former shadow Brexit secretary laid out a platform similar to the party’s 2017 manifesto during the election – including commitments to bring utilities into public ownership and introduce tax increases for the highest earners and corporations.

Asked on the same programme whether he had ditched a Labour manifesto promise of banning MPs from holding second jobs, Sir Keir said he agreed with the “principle” of the plan but avoided saying he still endorsed it.

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