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House of Lords Reform Bill [HL]: Briefing for Lords Stages

Published Tuesday, January 31, 2017

This House of Lords Library briefing provides information in support of the House of Lords consideration of the House of Lords Reform Bill [HL].

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The House of Lords Reform Bill [HL] is a private member’s bill introduced by Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb (Green Party). The Bill received its first reading on 26 May 2016 and is scheduled to receive its second reading on 3 February 2017. The Bill seeks to exclude excepted hereditary peers from the House of Lords, and would introduce regional elections to select 292 Members to sit and vote in the House. These elected Members would serve eight-year terms, with half being elected every four years. The Bill would not change the right of life peers and Lords Spiritual to sit and be appointed to the House, but would remove their right to vote. Setting out the purpose of the Bill, Baroness Jones stated:

Democratic reform of the House of Lords is leftover business from the 1999 House of Lords Act and has been attempted in each of the last three parliaments. In addition, it is promised by all the main political parties and will be inevitable within the next 5 to 15 years. My Bill gives the present House of Lords the chance to design its own reform, rather than having something imposed upon it by a future House of Commons. It would introduce elected members and remove the remaining hereditary peers, but would allow all life peers and bishops to remain as non-voting members of the reformed House with all their other rights and privileges intact.

Lords In Focus LIF-2017-0010

Author: Russell Taylor

Topics: House of Lords, Members of the Lords

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House of Lords Library

The House of Lords Library delivers research and information services to Members and staff of the House in support of parliamentary business.