House of Commons Library

House of Lords Reform Act 2014

Published Friday, July 1, 2016

The House of Lords Reform (No. 2) Bill 2013-14 was a private Members’ bill, which received Royal Assent on 14 May 2014. It allows members of the House of Lords to retire or resign permanently. It also provides that members who did not attend and those convicted of serious offences should cease to be members of the House of Lords.

Jump to full report >>

The House of Lords Reform (No. 2) Bill 2013-14 was a private Members’ bill.  It received Royal Assent on 14 May 2014, as the House of Lords Reform Act 2014. It was introduced in the Commons by Dan Byles, and in the Lords by Lord Steel of Aikwood. 

The Act allows members of the House of Lords to retire or resign permanently. It also provides that members who did not attend and those convicted of serious offences should cease to be members of the House of Lords.

Since the Act came into force, 48 members of the House of Lords have permanently retired; and four members have ceased to be members of the House under the non-attendance provisions of the Act.

The Bill was given a second reading, in the Commons, on 18 October 2013. Dan Byles, stressed that the Bill did not “close off” any future Lords reform but it addressed modest concerns raised by the House of Lords in previous private Members’ bills.

It was amended by a public bill committee on 15 January 2014. All the amendments were tabled by Mr Byles.  Some he described as technical amendments to tighten the drafting.  Others responded to concerns raised during the second reading debate.

The Bill was considered on report and given a third reading in the Commons on 28 February 2014. Three groups of amendments were considered on report.  One amendment was made – disqualification on conviction for a serious offence abroad would no longer be automatic: now the House of Lords would need to resolve that the penalty applies.

The House of Lords Constitution Committee reported on the Bill concluding that it “is clearly a measure of constitutional reform but, in our view, it raises no problems of constitutional concern”.

The Bill was not amended in the Lords.

Commons Briefing papers SN06832

Author: Richard Kelly

Topics: House of Lords, Members of the Lords

Share this page

Stay up to date

  • Subscribe to RSS feed Subscribe to Email alerts Commons Briefing papers

House of Commons Library

The House of Commons Library provides research, analysis and information services for MPs and their staff.