By Jack Doyle Associate Editor For The Daily Mail
Published: 22:02 GMT, 1 January 2019 | Updated: 08:42 GMT, 2 January 2019
Lord Norman Fowler (pictured above) is leading efforts to dramatically reduce the membership of the Lords
The House of Lords should reduce the number of peers who are 'passengers' and contribute little or nothing to politics, Norman Fowler has said.
Lord Fowler – who as Lord Speaker chairs debates in the upper house – insisted the majority of peers are actively involved.
But in scathing remarks, the former Tory cabinet minister said there were cases where new peers decided after a few days they were 'in the wrong place doing the wrong thing'.
Lord Fowler, who has been Lord Speaker for the past two years, is leading efforts to dramatically reduce the membership of the Lords.
With nearly 800 members it is the second largest legislative assembly in the world, after China's National People's Congress. Members of the Lords can claim a £305 tax-free allowance each day just for turning up – even if they do not contribute.
In an interview with The Guardian, Lord Fowler argued the lack of screening of political appointees meant some new arrivals had little idea what to do.
'You do have extraordinary cases where people have come in and after a few days they've come to the conclusion that, actually they're in the wrong place doing the wrong thing, or rather not doing the