Boris Johnson has said he thinks there are too many peers in the House of Lords, after nominating 36 more to join.
Last week Johnson was accused of Tory cronyism after he nominated a number of former MPs, who were critics of Jeremy Corbyn, and Brexit supporters to join the upper chamber.
He also gave a number of Tories – including former Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson – and his own brother a peerage.
But now Boris Johnson’s spokesperson has said that the prime minister still feels there are too many peers.
However, he also believes that the 36 were needed to provide ‘appropriate expertise’.
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His official spokesman said: ‘It remains the case that the size of the House of Lords needs addressing but given retirements and other departures some new members are needed to ensure the Lords has appropriate expertise and it continues to fulfil its role in scrutinising and revising legislation.’
They said it was a ‘long-standing convention that individuals can be nominated for an honour or peerage in recognition of their public and political service and that prime ministers can draw up dissolution and resignation lists’.
‘All of the individuals were nominated in recognition of their contribution to society and their public and political service,’ the spokesman added.
The House of Lords now has almost 200 more politicians than the House of Commons and there are suggestions a second list could be created this year to ensure Tory donors are also elevated to the chamber.
Darren Hughes, chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society, criticised the move.
He said: ‘Pressure is mounting for an overhaul of the Lords, after this shocking batch of cronyistic appointments.
‘Even the Lord Speaker recognises that this situation is untenable and has completely over-ridden even the Lords’ modest attempts at self-regulation.
‘At over 800 members, this bloated chamber is making a mockery of democracy.’