Half of Britain's MPs should be made redundant, according to a Birmingham politician.
Gisela Stuart (Lab Edgbaston) called for a smaller and cheaper House of Commons, with half as many members.
The MPs who were left should also receive less money in expenses - but higher salaries, said Ms Stuart.
The comments, which are likely to prove controversial with her Commons colleagues, were made, above, as she delivered the Lord Howell Annual Address in Birmingham last night.
Former Sports Minister Dennis Howell was a city MP for 35 years. Ms Stuart said: "The Commons need reforming with half the number of Members - we have more than the whole of the US Congress -who are then paid a large salary and they pay out of it all research, and so on."
Britain employs 646 MPs to represent 60 million people, while the US Congress, which includes both the Senate and the House of Representatives, has just 535 members to represent 304 million Americans.
She called for an end to the practice of MPs claiming the costs of their staff and equipment from the Commons, which leads to headlines about huge expenses claims.
Instead, she said, they should be paid significantly more than their current salary of £61,820 - and told to pay their researchers and secretaries themselves.
Ms Stuart said: "Being an MP means that we have to employ staff, send out letters, travel from our constituency to Westminster and necessarily live in two places."
The MP also called for a return to traditional voting at the ballot box, and an end to postal voting on demand. The Government has made it much easier to obtain a postal voting form, which was once only available to people who could prove they had a good reason for not voting in person.
But critics have claimed that this makes electoral fraud much easier.
Ms Stuart said one of the reasons people failed to vote was cynicism about politics and a belief that politicians were "in it for themselves".
But politics was an "honourable occupation", she said.
"Believe if or not, the vast majority of MPs do the job because we want to make the world a better place.
"Most of us start of by saying 'things don't have to be the way they are - and we want to change them'."