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Lords failing to represent UK as whole: reform body

By Harriet Line

The House of Lords totally fails to represent swathes of the UK, as a high proportion of peers are from London, the south east and east, the head of the Electoral Reform Society (ERS) has said.

Darren Hughes, chief executive of the ERS, said Parliament's second chamber is increasingly like another Westminster private members' club.

ERS analysis found 54% of the 564 peers whose residence is known, live in either Greater London, the south east or the east of England. It showed that 5% of peers said they live in the north west - where 11% of the population reside, according to the campaign organisation.

The figures also showed that out of 816 peers, there were 235 former politicians, 68 political staffers and 13 civil servants.

Today, MPs will debate a petition in Westminster Hall calling for a referendum on the abolition of the House of Lords.

Mr Hughes said: "The Lords is looking increasingly like just another Westminster private members' club, and it's not hard to see why when the system is so unbalanced."

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