Yorkshire’s very own Betty Boothroyd cut straight to the chase when she accused former prime ministers, and David Cameron in particular, of undermining the independence of the House of Lords by appointing their own cronies – “lobby fodder” as she put it – to scrutinise legislation.
The Dewsbury-born former Speaker of the Commons was withering as she called for the excessive number of peers to be reduced to 400. “The repeated abuse of Prime Ministers’ powers of privilege is as plain as a pikestaff. To my mind, it betrays arrogance, reeks of hypocrisy and has no place in a Parliamentary system,” she thundered. “The abolition of their untrammelled power is long overdue. Be gone, I say – and I hope Theresa May takes note.”
Hear, hear. Mrs May can’t fail to take note of such a powerful contribution spoken from the heart. If the PM has any sense, she will put a moratorium on the appointment of new peers until there’s a consensus on Lords reform. If not, she, too, will find herself being put straight by Baroness Boothroyd.