The House of Lords “fails at every level to give any semblance of representation or respect the views, character and aspirations of the Scottish people,” a SNP MP has said.

The comments from Tommy Sheppard came as he launched a new analysis of Scottish peers.

In his new report, the SNP’s constitutional affairs spokesperson said most were “privately educated men over the age of 65” and all were opposed to Scottish independence.

Just 22% of the peers are women. The only peer under the age of 45 is former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson, the report said.

By contrast, 15% of MPs elected from Scottish constituencies are aged 25-39 compared to 20% of the Scottish population.

However, one Labour peer said he had a lot of sympathy with the conclusions in the report, but that the SNP’s refusal to nominate peers meant they were “shouting from the touch line”

“They should take part in the struggle from within”, Lord Foulkes said.

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Mr Sheppard’s report, titled Their Scottish Lordships, identifies 78 peers who could be regarded as Scottish members of the House of Lords either because they have spent most of their active life in Scotland or have a Scottish title.

The report said that while “it can be argued that, by its very nature, the House of Lords fails to represent any region or nation of the United Kingdom this research makes the overwhelming case that this reality is certainly true for Scotland.”

Members of the Lords can claim a daily attendance of £342 and can also claim transport and overnight accommodation. Peers can also claim expenses covering the travel of their spouses and children.

In total, the expenses bill of Scotland’s 78 peers during the year September 2021 to September 2022 was £2,342,142.

Seven Scottish peers claimed a total of £78,907 in expenses for attending the Lords but did not speak in the chamber or ask a single written question.

Despite Labour’s promise to abolish the Lords, the report suggests there is “little sign that things will change with a new UK administration.”

Angela Smith, Labour’s leader in the Lords, said her party’s priority would be to get legislation through parliament if it won the next election, even if that meant increasing the number of peers.

Mr Sheppard also said the House of Lords does not accurately represent the make-up of Scottish seats at Westminster, where the SNP has 81% of the available 59 seats but the party has no peers.

However, that's because the SNP has a long standing policy of not taking their seats in the Lords.

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Mr Sheppard said: “This report makes grim reading for advocates of democracy. It provides further evidence that the House of Lords fails at every level to give any semblance of representation or respect the views, character and aspirations of the Scottish people.

“Over £2.3 million was claimed in expenses and allowances by Scotland’s peers, despite some doing nothing in a year. The fact that this happened during a cost-of-living crisis shows just how dire the situation has become.

“It’s unquestionably clear that efforts towards reform have failed, and with both Labour and the Tories committed to preserving the institution, the only realistic opportunity to dismantle the undemocratic Lords lies in wholesale change. It’s a core component of this broken Westminster system and ought to be abolished.

“Of course, the smarter answer would be to set up a new country to do it better. With the full powers of independence, we can draw up a modern constitution which inspires and represents our citizens. And in doing that, we use the House of Lords as a temple for what to avoid.”

Asked for his views on the report. Labour peer George Foulkes told The Herad: “I agree with a lot of it and, indeed, support replacing the Lords with a Senate of the Nations and Regions and have been arguing this for some time now.

“Tommy has however missed out a lot of the good work done by some Peers including the work I do with him on the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe including on Press Freedom.

“I could write an even more searing criticism of the Lords, including the bizarre hereditary Peers by-elections, the corrupt nominations, lack of proper provision to do the job and much more.

“The SNP do not support the Union yet stand for Westminster.

“So, they should accept the invitation to nominate Peers and join with me and others to replace it from within.

“Shouting from the touch line is futile. They should take part in the struggle from within.

A House of Lords spokesperson said: “Unlike MPs, members of the House of Lords are not paid a salary. Apart from reimbursing travel costs the daily allowance is the only financial support they receive for costs associated with attending the House, for members who live in Scotland this will include paying for overnight accommodation.

“MPs who live outside of London can claim financial support for accommodation on top of their salary.

“The House of Lords 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.

“Members of the Lords who live in Scotland may have higher travel costs than those living closer to London and it is important that they are not prevented from contributing their knowledge and experience to the important work of the House of Lords.”