Use lottery to pick peers says barrister

A BARRISTER has won a national award for his plan to use a weekly national lottery draw to choose members of the House of Lords.

Chancery specialist Daniel Lightman is this year's winner of the Politics Social Innovations Award, handed out by the Institute for Social Innovations.

In his entry, the barrister from Charles Sparrow QC's Thirteen Old Square chambers argued that replacing hereditary peers in the House of Lords with lottery winners would preserve one of the perceived benefits of the current system – that it is dominated by amateurs, not professional politicians.

And in response to the claim a lunatic or fascist could win the draw, he said: “That is a risk which we have been prepared to take for hundreds of years with hereditary peers, and there is no evidence that the great hereditary families… are any less prone to insanity or extreme political views than the rest of us.”

Lightman is realistic about the chances of his idea being adopted. “It raises serious issues, but I cannot say I shall be out campaigning in the streets for it,” he said.