Labour leader Ed Miliband said he was firmly behind proposals for a fully elected House of Lords.
He said: "A referendum on the issue is a good idea, and we have said this previously in our manifesto.
"But I don't quite understand why the Government is setting its face against giving the people a say.
"We have made our position in wanting a referendum for a 100% elected House of Lords very clear.
"Am I surprised at the way some Tories have threatened a rebellion against the issue? Look, that's a matter for them and I will leave the Tories' problems to themselves.
"There are lots of more important issues facing our country right now such as health, education and jobs."
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