The draft House of Lords Reform Bill, published in May 2011, sets out a number of proposals aimingto reform the UK’s Upper House. These proposals – among them the reduction in number of members by more than half, making the House either 80 or 100 per cent elected, and limiting the length of term to 15 years – aim to increase the democratic authority of the House of Lords whilst retaining its essential scrutiny and expert functions. The timetable for reform could see first elections take place by 2015.
On Monday, 18 July, the Constitution Society, CentreForum and British Government @ LSE hosted the debate, The future of the House of Lords. The debate brought together MPs, peers and academics to discuss the proposals set out in the Draft Bill and the prospects for reform of the House.
The speakers were:
- Mark Harper MP, Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform, who was in favour of the proposed reforms;
- Professor Patrick Dunleavy, London School of Economics, who was also in favour, but urged the reforms to go further;
- Professor the Rt Revd Lord Harries, who was skeptical of the proposals and advocated a hybrid system;
- Professor Tim Bale, University of Sussex, who was against the proposals.
This debate also marked the publication of “The End of the Peer Show” published by the Constitution Society and CentreForum drawing together a series of responses to the recent proposals for reform.
Please click the book cover for a free download of The End of the Peer Show?.
For hard copies of the book, please contact Alexandra Fitzpatrick at the Constitutional Society by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone on 0207 340 1169.
The event podcasts will be available shortly.
Stuart Weir also covered this event on the OurKingdom blog. Click here to read the article.