What is the House of Lords and how much do members earn?

As Ruth Davidson joins the Lords, here's your at-a-glance guide to the UK parliament's second chamber.

What is the House of Lords and how much do members earn? STV News

Former Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson has taken her seat in the House of Lords.

She’ll be known as the Baroness of Lundin Links – the Fife village where she grew up – and has promised to be “independent-minded and outspoken”.

But what is the House of Lords and what do members actually do?

The second chamber

The House of Lords is the ‘second chamber’ or the ‘upper house’ of the UK parliament.

Its main roles are to scrutinise legislation passed by MPs in the House of Commons and hold the government to account.

Do members have much power?

They will vote on proposed legislation and if it’s rejected, the plans will go back to the Commons.

Rarely can they stop Bills eventually becoming law, but they can force delays and changes.

How does someone become a member?

By being nominated by the main political parties… or becoming an Archbishop.

There are currently 792 members of the Lords, compared to 650 MPs in the Commons.

How much do they get paid?

Some members get a salary for carrying out parliamentary duties.

The rest can claim up to £323 per day for attending the House.

What are the criticisms?

Many critics consider it undemocratic because members are appointed rather than elected.

They also believe there are too many members, making it too expensive.

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