THE staff of almost one in three peers have links to lobbying firms, according to new analysis.

The SNP said its latest research highlighted the need to reform the House of Lords, just days after the Tory-Liberal Democrat Coalition dumped the idea.

The updated register of Lords members' staff showed more than 200 of 671 also work for outside organisations, including BP, think tanks and public-affairs consultancies.

SNP MP Pete Wishart said: "While there is no suggestion of wrongdoing the figures raise serious questions about the way Westminster works".

Those on the register include Robin Ashby, a managing partner at Bergmans media relations and research specialists, whose clients include defence and security services firm Perseus Global Ltd and who is sponsored by former Labour minister Lord Moonie. A media adviser to Tony and Cherie Blair, Hilary Coffman, is also listed under Lord Falconer, the former Lord Chancellor.

There are more than 800 peers in the House of Lords, all currently unelected.

The Coalition had proposed plans that would have brought in a mainly elected second chamber as well as cutting its numbers almost in half.

But the plans faced opposition from a range of voices, including many peers themselves and a number of Tory MPs. Last month Mr Cameron pledged he would spend the summer attempting to win over the rebels within his own party.

But within weeks he admitted defeat and told LibDem leader Nick Clegg he had failed to make a breakthrough.

The LibDems are furious at what they see as a major betrayal over one of their key policies.

The party points out that its MPs have had to vote through a series of difficult reforms, including the tripling of university fees in England which they had specifically opposed before the General Election.

In retaliation they plan to oppose changes to constituency boundaries.

The reforms had been predicted to give the Tories an extra 20 safe seats at the next General Election.

Mr Cameron has signalled he will not give up the policy without a fight and has said he will put it to a vote of MPs.