Already this week I have taken part in a Westminster Hall Debate on House of Lords reform and called on the Government to scrap hereditary peers once and for all.
During the debate the Minister indicated that the Government will give up its time in the House of Lords to debate the recent report in Lords reform, but it became glaringly obvious that they were not intending on doing so for the democratically elected Commons. I used Business Questions today to call on the Government to give up its own time to debate this important matter. The Leader of the House said that debating the right of a small minority of people to create our laws and question our government due only to accident of birth was not a matter of high importance. This is ridiculous and the Government must accept my Bill and get rid of the hereditary peers now.
Today, I pushed for my hereditary peers abolition Bill to be supported and introduced by the Government.
This week an election took place to one of the most exclusive group of legislators in the world. The House of Lords held a by-election to fill one of the 92 hereditary peer seats in the Lords. This follows the sad death of Lord Lyell, who was one of 15 hereditary peers elected by the whole House in 1999. The winner of the by-election will be able to make our laws, question ministers and have a platform on which to make their views heard.
The hereditary peers were a compromise by the last Labour Government to ensure that urgent reform was achieved. But this was only a stepping stone and the remaining 92 hereditary peers were never supposed to be a long-term feature of the new Lords.
I believe now is the time to remove the hereditary principle from our democracy once and for all. There are a large number of different opinions on how the Lords should be reformed, but there is a consensus that the hereditary peers should be scrapped once and for all. Read more “Abolition of Hereditary Peers”
Just before Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday was Cabinet Office Questions. The Cabinet Office is responsible for the day to day running of the Civil Service and also for constitutional reform.
I asked the Cabinet Office Minister, Ben Gummer MP, if he thought it was right that the Government is reducing the size of the House of Commons by 50 MPs, but there are still nearly 100 Lords who owe their place in parliament for no other reason than patronage in the Middle Ages. Read more “Cabinet Office Questions: House of Lords Reform”