The House of Lords is the “best day-care centre for the elderly in London”, a Lib Dem peer says in a new BBC documentary.
It also features a claim by the former Lord Speaker that many peers contribute “absolutely nothing” to Parliament.
Baroness D’Souza claimed one peer kept a taxi running outside while signing in to collect the £300 allowance.
The Lords said it was an “active and effective revising chamber” with a “robust” code of conduct.
Meet The Lords, which is shown on Monday at 21:00 GMT on BBC Two, combines interviews and fly-on-the-wall footage of the Upper House.
One of the interviewees, Lib Dem constitutional spokesman Lord Tyler, jokes: “It is the best day care centre for the elderly in London, families can drop in him or her and make sure that the staff will look after them very well nice meals subsidised by the taxpayer, and they can have a snooze in the afternoon in the chamber or in the library.”
Lord Tyler told the BBC the Lords was “not very representative”, with more peers aged over 90 than under 40.Baroness D’Souza suggested the “sense of honour” that used to come with being a member of the House of Lords had been lost.
Baroness D’Souza suggested the “sense of honour” that used to come with being a member of the House of Lords had been lost.
She said there was a “core” of peers who work “incredibly hard”, but “many, many, many” who do not.
“I can remember one occasion when I was leaving the House quite late and there was a peer – who shall be utterly nameless – who jumped out of a taxi just outside the peers’ entrance, left the engine running.
“He ran in, presumably to show that he’d attended, and then ran out again while the taxi was still running.
“So I mean that’s not normal, but it is something that does happen and I think that we have lost the sense of honour that used to pertain, and that is a great, great shame.”