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Ruth Davidson does nothing about ‘reforming Lords’ – despite claims before joining

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RUTH Davidson has done nothing about “reforming the House of Lords into a democratic chamber” since becoming a Baroness, despite claiming it was one of her top priorities on entering the upper House, The National can reveal.

Before the swearing-in ceremony, Davidson claimed that she would be focused on “reforming the House of Lords into a democratic chamber”. She listed this aim as one of her three areas of particular interest, alongside assisted dying and gambling reform.

However, in the roughly 13 months since Davidson joined the Lords, she does not appear to have mentioned reforming the Lords even once.

READ MORE: Ruth Davidson’s register of outside interests published by House of Lords

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The SNP’s most senior MP, Pete Wishart, told The National that everyone who accepts a peerage claims they “intend to reform – the sad truth is that none ever do”.

Davidson has spoken a total of six times in the chamber, according to the official Hansard record.

One of those contributions, in December 2021, focused largely on Scotland’s economic contribution to the Union and vice versa.

During the speech, she said: “Too often I feel that those of us who support the continuation of our United Kingdom are at risk of doing the Scottish nationalists’ job for them … they define the United Kingdom as some kind of imposition, something that is done to Scotland.”

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The Baroness has also spoken twice about assisted dying, once about clinical negligence, and twice about the UK’s defence capabilities.

Outside of the House of Lords, she has also taken action on her other priority – gambling reform. She wrote an article on the issue for The Telegraph and signed a letter to the Prime Minister calling for “bold” action.

However, she has not so much as tweeted about the House of Lords, let alone reforming it, since 2018.

SNP MP Wishart told The National that Davidson had “absolutely no intention” of reforming the upper House.

He said: “I think we all remember Ruth Davidson’s pledge that she would reform the Lords from within the confines of its ermine laden upholstery but more than a year on it remains as undemocratic and bizarre as ever.

“There have been no great speeches lambasting its undemocratic nature or even the slightest musings on the current bloated condition of this national embarrassment.

“Ruth Davidson had absolutely no intention of reform as she fits neatly into the current membership of political has-beens, donors, and cronies. On accepting a peerage all say they intend to reform – the sad truth is that none ever do.”

A spokesperson for the Baroness said: “As Ruth has said many times, she is prepared to work with anyone, from any side of the chamber, on meaningful reform.” 

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