A Labour MP has called on ministers to back moves to abolish the House of Lords following the latest defeat in the upper chamber for the government’s flagship Brexit bill.
Frank Field – one of a small group Labour MPs to campaign for Leave in the EU referendum – has tabled a bill in the Commons calling for the Lords to be scrapped and replaced by a smaller “senate” with limited powers to delay or amend legislation.
The move comes after peers voted for a second time for an amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill giving the Commons a “meaningful vote” on a final Brexit deal after it was rejected last week in the lower chamber.
Without government support, the House of Lords (Abolition and Replacement) Bill faces little prospect of even being debated by MPs, let alone becoming law.
But Mr Field said he would be urging ministers to allow it to be debated by the Commons in government time.
The ardent Brexiteer claimed there was widespread anger among the public at what he said were the attempts by the Lords to thwart the will of the voters and prevent Britain leaving the EU.
“I shall lobby the prime minister and the leader of the House Andrea Leadsom for the government to give us time to get it through,” he said.
“Why shouldn’t the government do something popular? The Lords needs to be reformed. We rarely do reform unless there is urgency of needs. Here is the urgency of needs.”
Downing Street said the government had set out its position on Lords reform earlier this year when the prime minister called for “restraint” in the appointment of new peers following proposals to reduce the size of the upper chamber.