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Cameron committed to Lords reform

Downing Street said David Cameron remained committed to reform of the House of Lords.

"Both the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister are committed to Lords reform," a No 10 spokeswoman said.

David Cameron and Nick Clegg Credit: Reuters

She added that all members of the Government would be expected to support the legislation when it comes to Parliament.

"If it is Government policy, one expects the Government to support it," she said.

She said ministers were "not persuaded" by calls for a referendum on the issue.

House of Lords 'stuffed with dinosaurs'

A senior Liberal Democrat peer has warned Conservatives that they must back coalition plans to reform the House of Lords - despite a threatened revolt by Tory backbenchers.

State opening of Parliament 2009

Senior Lib Dem peer Lord Oakeshott insisted today that the plan was part of the coalition agreement and should be supported by MPs of both parties. He said:

"Our vast unelected House of Lords is overstuffed with complacent dinosaurs.

"Electing both Houses of Parliament is a simple democratic principle, it's in all three major parties' general manifestos and the coalition agreement.

"So all coalition MPs should back it - and Labour mustn't drag their feet on this long overdue reform."

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House of Lords reform provokes 'stormy' Tory meeting

Conservative MPs are reported to have lined up to condemn House of Lords reform proposals - set to form the centrepiece of next month's Queen's Speech - during a "stormy" meeting last night of the party's backbench 1922 Committee.

A number of ministerial aides are reported to have indicated they would rather resign than support legislation for a largely- or wholly-elected upper chamber.

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Foreign Secretary on ITV1's The Agenda: 'Donors don't get to influence policy'

Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague denies policy committee Credit: Reuters/Remo Casilli

William Hague has told ITV1's The Agenda that donors do not influence him on his foreign policies. Mr Hague said that "if anyone ever influences me on any policy it's somebody that I meet at surgery or somebody I meet in Afghanistan or Iraq".

Mr Hague denied the existence of a 'policy committee' and said: "Peter Cruddas resigned because he said some silly things. Things that he acknowledges were not true, that there was a policy committee- there isn't such a committee that donors can feed into".

Hague tells ITV1's The Agenda: I have not seen any examples of individual donations changing policy

William Hagues says he has not seen any money being exchanged for special access Credit: Reuters/Luke MacGregor

The Foreign Secretary has discussed cash-for-access on ITV's The Agenda with Tom Bradby. Speaking as one of the guests on the programme to be broadcast at 10.35pm tonight, William Hague was asked what £250,000 buys:

"Hopefully only the satisfaction of supporting a political party. I don't think you'll get much more than that. All the parties have had problems with allegations about funding.

"If there's one reassuring thing that I can say as somebody who's served in two cabinets is if people think that an individual donor, a rich person, can change a policy by giving money to a party - I haven't ever seen on the inside an example of that".

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