THE north-south divide has inflicted many injustices on our region, and so it is a matter of concern that it extends even into the House of Lords.
Yorkshire’s under-representation in the upper chamber puts us at a disadvantage when it comes to being heard or lobbying for deserved and long-overdue recognition and investment from the Government.
Issues of fundamental importance to the region, such as devolution or improvements to the transport network, are less likely to receive the attention they demand from Parliament as a whole because of the London-centric nature of the Lords.
It is little short of absurd that Britain’s largest county, which is home to eight per cent of the country’s population, should account for only six per cent of the peers.
The clear bias of the chamber towards London and the south-east is illustrated by the fact that the area is home to 54 per cent of the Lords.
If such an imbalance were replicated in the Commons, there would rightly be an outcry at an outrageous democratic deficit. Effective representation of this region is suffering as a result, and its consequence is that we are, once again, losing out to what is already the wealthiest part of the country.
Lord Adonis is certainly right when he points out that massive investment in the south-east is directly linked to the fact that most politicians live there.
This must change, and the House of Lords rebalanced to more fairly reflect our region’s interests.
Peerages are granted on the advice of the Prime Minister, and it is time that a central consideration in new appointments becomes the area where they live, and which they will represent. Doing so would not only demonstrate the Government is committed to closing the north-south divide, but also that it values natural justice.