THE appointment of new two hereditary peers on just 23 votes shows the “democratic outrage” of the House of Lords, an SNP MP has said.

Lord Meston and Lord De ­Clifford last week landed lifelong seats as crossbench peers – entitling them to claim a daily attendance of £323 – ­after qualifying through birthright and writing an election pitch of just 75 words each.

Following Lords reforms in 1999, most hereditary peers were removed from the upper chamber, leaving 92 seats – which are all held by men.

The hereditary by-election on ­Tuesday was triggered by the ­retirement of Lord Hylton and the death of Lord Palmer earlier this year.

SNP MP Tommy Sheppard (below), who published a report calling for the ­abolition of the House of Lords last week, said: “The fact that we still have guaranteed seats for a few ­hereditary aristocrats in ­parliament is a ­democratic outrage. They are ­appointed for life and no matter how objectionable they might be we can’t remove them.

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“The ludicrous farce of hereditary by-elections – where only men are ­given the right by birth to make laws and govern – is really the perfect ­demonstration of why the unelected upper house must be abolished.

“Fundamentally, though, the entire Westminster system is broken.

“Only independence offers real change which will rid Scotland of the undemocratic House of Lords once and for all.”

Holding a title does not mean ­automatic qualification for the Lords, but when a seat becomes ­vacant through retirement or death, ­hereditary peers from their party or group can nominate themselves for election.

In the election last week, 13 from the crossbench group nominated themselves and the eligible ­electorate was 32 peers. It was conducted by ­single transferable vote and saw 23 votes cast in total.

The full candidature statement from Lord Meston, who previously lost his seat in the Lords following the reforms of 1999, read: ­“Practising barrister from 1973 (QC 1996) until 1999 (mainly family law). Then a circuit judge until 2020. Now part-time judge. Second in last crossbench by-election.

“Active in Lords until 1999, ­latterly a crossbencher. Particularly ­involved in Bills concerning children, ­domestic abuse, divorce. Committees included Medical Ethics, Statutory ­Instruments, Consolidation Bills, ­Personal Bills.

“Believe strongly in effective ­scrutiny of legislation and the value of crossbench independence and ­objectivity. Would commit fully to ­involvement in the Lords.”

Lord De Clifford’s pitch for votes stated: “My aspirations continue to be a committed independent, and effective member of the house. I am the chief operating and finance ­officer for a large veterinary group and president of the Veterinary Management Group.

“I bring expertise and experience in animal welfare, food production, and safety, leadership development, and business management. I have an open mindset and the ability to listen, ­evaluate and understand thus ­bringing a broad perspective to the workings of the House.”

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Willie Sullivan, senior director (campaigns) at the Electoral Reform Society said the hereditary ­by-election showed the “ongoing absurdity” of the current House of Lords.

He said: “Two men have effectively each been given a lifelong job voting in parliament and affecting our laws due to the circumstances of their birth. These sham by-elections are merely a fig leaf covering an ­undemocratic and antiquated system not fit for a 21st-century democracy.

“This underlines the urgent case for reforming the Lords and ­replacing it with a smaller, truly elected ­upper chamber, where the people of this country – not small bands of ­aristocrats – decide who shape the laws we all live under.”

SNP constitutional affairs spokesperson Sheppard last week called for the abolition of the Lords saying ­Scotland’s peers “fail at every level” to represent the needs of the country.

His report identified 78 members who could be regarded as Scotland’s peers, either those who have spent most of their active life in Scotland or who have been given a Scottish title.

He said the system does not ­represent the majority of Scotland as most of the Scottish peers are “privately educated men over the age of 65” and are also opposed to Scottish independence.

Just 22% of the peers are women and 68% are aged 65 and over, with just former Scottish Tory leader ­Baroness Ruth Davidson (below) under the age of 45, the report found.

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In response to the report a House of Lords spokesperson said it is a “busy and effective revising Chamber”.

“The allowances system is designed to ensure members from all parts of the UK, and a range of personal financial circumstances, can make an important contribution to improving ­legislation and holding the Government to account,” the spokesperson added.