If the New Year’s Honours list contains lots of Conservative peers, there could be trouble for Prime Minister Theresa May – one more problem in a fairly tricky year.

The government has asked the Boundary Commission to redraw the electoral map – with a view to reducing the number of MPs in the House of Commons from 650 to 600.

It thinks it’s only fair that the number of peers also be reduced, from 800 to around 600. The trouble is Lords can’t be voted out and can keep coming and voting until they die.

And the government, which does not command a majority in the House of Commons, is also in a minority in the Upper House - and it has some difficult and controversial Brexit legislation to get through parliament.

At a Lords’ debate Lord Faulkner of Worcester said suggestions that Theresa May’s government might ennoble plenty more Conservative Lords and Ladies, including MPs who lost their seats in June, to help it get Brexit legislation through would be totally counter-productive.

The Labour peer, who lives in Worcester said: “He said: “It’s hard to think of anything that would do more to undermine the credibility of Lord Burns’ report than such a move on the

Government’s part.”

He added “If we are to achieve a reduction in the size of the house, the party leaders have to exercise self-restraint in the appointment of new peers.

“Otherwise not only would we never get near a total membership of 600, we could see our numbers ballooning northwards beyond a thousand.”

While packing the Lords with pro-Brexit Conservatives could make Worcester MP Robin Walker’s job as Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the department for Exiting the EU much easier, the minister doesn’t think it’s going to happen.

He said: “I don’t think there any plans to do this – I think it’s a bit of a red herring to be honest.”

Otherwise Mr Walker said he was more often in agreement with the Labour peer Lord Faulkner than might be imagined.

He added: “We agree quite often. I think it’s important that we do cut the numbers of peers in the House- especially if the numbers of MPs are cut, if that plan does goes ahead.

“This isn’t the government’s position, but I think we should also think about who gets appointed- that it should be more about what you’ve done in life and your expertise rather than your party political affiliations- we need to concentrate on working peers to make an even more effective revising chamber.