Boris Johnson stuffing the House of Lords with Brexit loyalists will “make a mockery” of plans to slim down the second chamber, the government has been warned.
Lords Speaker Lord Fowler has written to all peers warning against plans to appoint dozens of new peers in the coming weeks.
He said such a move would put years of work to slim down the Lords “back to square one.”
“As I write this, we have 792 members,” Lord Fowler – a former Tory Cabinet Minister, wrote to Peers.
“Clearly any substantial intake of new members will drive us over 800 – perhaps to somewhere near the figures back in 2016 and further away from our aim of a 600-member House.”
It was reported last week that the PM is planning to reward people who helped him campaign for Brexit, including cricket legend Sir Ian Botham.
Mr Johnson is also expected to make peers out of a string of former MPs who helped him push his Withdrawal Bill through Parliament.
The list reportedly includes four former Labour MPs, Frank Field, Gisela Stuart – both of whom backed Brexit – and Ian Austin and John Woodcock who backed Johnson’s Brexit deal.
But he’ll also hand peerages to Ken Clarke, Philip Hammond and Ed Vaizey – all of whom had the whip withdrawn for defying the PM over Brexit.
Sir Ian backed Brexit during the referendum campaign, appearing with Johnson on the Campaign trail.
Darren Hughes, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said: “There has been almost no progress on reducing the size of the Lords this century. From around 700 members after many hereditaries were scrapped, we’re now at nearly 800 unelected unelected peers.
“Despite recent claims from peers that they’d sort their size out, the Lords remains the largest revising chamber in the world, with 800 appointees who continue to vote on our laws with no accountability.
“This super-sized House needs to cut its crony-intake drastically.”