Elected Lords proposed

A parliamentary report on House of Lords reform recommended an upper house of 450 members serving for 15-year non-renewable terms, with 80% of members elected and 20% nominated.

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'No-one should be able to inherit or buy a place in the British Parliament'

There is a real danger that the political interests at play here will undermine this important reform before it even gets off the ground.

Of course the parties don't want to lose control over who sits in the House of Lords - politicians are very good at defending the interests of politicians, but we cannot let the turkeys veto Christmas.

If you hold the power to help decide how Britain is run you should be elected by us, the British public. That's democracy. No-one should be able to inherit or buy a place in the British Parliament.

– Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society

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Main recommendations for House of Lords reform

Key recommendations from the Joint Committee on the Draft House of Lords Reform Bill:

  • The reformed second chamber should be elected
  • 80% should be elected with 20% nominated
  • The voting should use the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system, voters should also be able to cast votes for parties as well as individuals
  • The majority of the committee agree that the decision to elect members should be put to a referendum
  • The relationship between the two Houses cannot be legislated for and will have to evolve as the House of Lords reform goes on

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Cameron against Lords referendum

Prime Minister David Cameron
Prime Minister David Cameron Credit: Reuters

Prime Minister David Cameron said he was not in favour of a referendum but added that a public vote could not be ruled out.

He told the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme: "Personally I don't see it as a very compelling case - it would cost a lot of money.

"But we live in a democracy. Parliament is going to debate and discuss this. The committee is about to come and and say that a referendum would be a good idea so we don't rule it out.

"But we are only going to get Lords reform through if we all behave like reasonable, rational, sensible people."

Changes to the House of Lords

An all-party Joint Committee will publish its report on the draft House of Lords Reform this morning. They are expected to recommend that:

  • 80% of the members of the house are elected, instead of appointed
  • Members serve non-renewable 15-year terms
  • Members are given a salary of around £50,000, rather than allowances

The committee is also expected to say that due to the significance of the changes a referendum may be necessary: something Nick Clegg has said he does not want.

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