UK: Labour's Kier Starmer Supports Devolution of Power from Westminster, Abolition of House of Lords

On Monday, the leader of the UK Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer, pledged to devolve power away from the political centre of Westminster if his party wins the next general election.

UK: Labour's Kier Starmer Supports Devolution of Power from Westminster, Abolition of House of Lords
Image credit: reuters

Facts

  • On Monday, the leader of the UK Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer, pledged to devolve power away from the political centre of Westminster if his party wins the next general election.
  • If elected PM, Starmer promises to introduce the "biggest ever transfer of power from Westminster to the British people." The announcement comes in tandem with the release of a new report by Labour, entitled 'A New Britain'.
  • The report, carried out by former Labour PM Gordon Brown, recommends constitutional reforms including replacing the House of Lords with a second democratically elected chamber, banning almost all second jobs for MPs, and moving 50K civil servants (10% of the government workforce) out of London.
  • The 155-page document contains a total of 40 recommendations — its release has been accompanied by Starmer's comments describing the need to end "sticking plaster politics." The report recommends the House of Lords be replaced with an "assembly of the nations and regions," while local government would be given more power to generate revenue. Furthermore, the devolved governments of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland would be granted greater powers.
  • Labour has consistently led in polling since the end of Boris Johnson's premiership, with the gap between the opposition and the governing Conservatives only growing during Liz Truss' 45-day stint as PM. The next general election, unless called early, is due to take place in 2024.

Sources: Reuters, BBC News, Sky News, Guardian, and Daily Record.

Narratives

  • Left narrative, as provided by Labourlist. With this report comes the reinvigoration of Labour as the party of democratic and constitutional reform. After more than a decade of conservative governance, the current system has become synonymous with Tory cronyism, while faith in UK politics is at an all-time low. With a convincing poll lead, Labour should be confident it will soon get the opportunity to address many of the deep-rooted issues being faced by the UK.
  • Right narrative, as provided by The Telegraph. Although some constitutional reform is indeed needed, the fact that the latest half-baked reforms have been proposed by Gordon Brown and the Labour Party are ironic when considering that Brown's record for reform as PM was itself so poor. Change should occur, but with our constitutional arrangements being based upon respect for convention, tradition, and the responsible use of Royal prerogative, caution must be applied.

Predictions