FORMER UK cabinet minister Andrew Adonis has said a “federal senate” in the north of England should replace the House of Lords.

Elected representatives from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the English regions would sit in the new legislature, and the Labour peer believes the senate should be in Manchester to prevent London domination.

"It would completely rebalance the politics of the UK by shifting more power northwards," Adonis said, adding that it should be in Manchester because there is no elected parliament or assembly in northern England.

He added that "moving the second chamber northwards" would give Scotland a more powerful role in the UK.

Adonis sets out the plan in more detail in a forthcoming book due out in June, “Saving Britain”, which he has co-written with the author and journalist Will Hutton.

The book, published by Abacus, makes the case for the UK remaining in the EU.

However, Adonis has written a chapter arguing that a federal Britain would prosper in Europe.

The book cites elected second legislative chambers in Germany and Italy as successes the UK could emulate.

Speaking to the Sunday Herald, Adonis said: "A federal Britain's time has come as we can't carry on being the most centralised government in the western world."

The former UK transport secretary said that setting up the senate in northern England would "entrench federalism" in the governance of Britain, and added that high speed rail plans meant representatives in the Manchester legislature could easily travel to the seat of government in London.

"There are no parliamentary institutions in the north of England so a second chamber of the nations and regions should be situated in the north of England," he said. "It would only be an hour from London with the HS2 high speed rail.

"Manchester would also be a great location for Scotland as it would be moving the second chamber northwards. It would be a federal senate."