Darren Hughes told Express.co.uk that the building cost of the second chamber could only be justified if there were hundreds fewer peers that were democratically chosen and accountable to the UK public. He added that as long as the public is shut out from the second chamber the peers behaviour will remain unaccountable.
Mr Hughes said: “A good functioning democracy does cost money and that is better than the alternative which is a cheap dictatorship.
“An expensive democracy is better than a cheap dictatorship, but it has to be a democracy.
“I think if we had hundreds of fewer members of the second chamber and they were democratically chosen and accountable to the public then I think it would justify the cost of the building perhaps.
“When it is not and you have 830 people and it is being run the way it is now, it does feel like an incredible indulgence of the political class that is paid for by the UK taxpayer.”
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He added: “You have got all the people that are in there right now that want to stay because they want to see out their time there.
“You have got people in the House of Commons who might make the occasional noise about the House of Lords but secretly want to go to the House of Lords and retire.
“So, it really is a bit of a racket really.
“As long as this racket continues with the public shut out from having a say, we are going to see behaviour like we have.”
“For all the talk of it having expertise, if you are an ordinary person on the street but you don’t know anyone in Westminster, you will never get yourself in there.
“So I think that the main problem is this disconnection between the job they are doing there and the people of the country.
“I think for as long as that happens you are going to get people appointed there for political reasons who find a way around the system in order to get the title, membership, the access to Westminster and basically sign up to get the expenses while doing a very minimal amount of work.
“That is unfair on people that take it seriously because there are 830 of them and there are 100 who don’t take it seriously.”
The House of Lords declined to comment when contacted by Express.co.uk.