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Call for fewer Lords - and more AMs

The Electoral Reform Society Cymru has reacted to the naming of two new Welsh members of the House of Lords - both former AMs - by calling for a cut in the size of the Upper Chamber at Westminster and for a bigger Assembly in Cardiff Bay,

The society describes Nick Bourne and Christine Humphreys as "the latest additions to the already cramped red benches". Its director says they will both bring their knowledge of devolution to the Lords but "this isn't about individuals, it's about the system".

At a time when Wales is debating whether we have enough Assembly Members to pass laws and hold Welsh Ministers to account, it’s disappointing that the UK Government has added 30 new peers to an already bloated House of Lords. Money would be better spent on a radically slimmed down, elected UK upper house and a larger, more effective National Assembly.

We need to ensure we have enough AMs to scrutinise how £15 billion of public money is spent and how laws are made. A UK Constitutional Convention should look at implementing wholescale reform of how the UK is governed, including an elected upper house. It’s something all four party leaders in Wales should sign-up to before the general election.

– Director of the Electoral Reform Society Cymru Steve Brooks

New Welsh peers congratulated

The appointment of two new Welsh members of the House of Lords - Nick Bourne and Christine Humphreys- has been welcomed by their party leaders in the Assembly.

This is well-deserved recognition of over a decade of Welsh public service as an Assembly Member and Leader of the Welsh Conservative Group. Nick continues to serve Wales in his roles on the Silk Commission and the current review into the delivery of public services. Nick will be a powerful voice for Wales in the House of Lords and I look forward to working with him.

– Leader of the Opposition Andrew RT Davies AM

I am really pleased for Christine. She has played a huge role in the Welsh party and her experience will be of great value ensuring that the coalition remains anchored in the centre ground. She has had dedicated her life to serving others, either through politics or teaching. She has also played an important role, as party president, in developing and mentoring young female candidates during the Westminster, Assembly and council elections. I am proud that the Welsh Liberal Democrats will be providing more female representation in a chamber that is lacking in women.

– Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Kirsty Williams AM

There had been speculation that a new Plaid Cymru peer would be named -rumoured to be the party's economic adviser Eurfyl ap Gwilym. That could still happen as it's understood that 10 Downing Street's list of working peers was considered too long to release in full in a single announcement.

Working peers are expected to regularly attend the House of Lords to take part in debates and votes. However, they are appointed for life on exactly the same basis as people awarded peerages as an honour.

Former Welsh Tory leader one of two ex-AMs made Lords

The former leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Nick Bourne, has been made a member of the House of Lords in a list of working peers named by 10 Downing Street. He'll be joined in the Upper Chamber by Christine Humphreys, the President of the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

Nick Bourne became an AM when the Assembly was first elected in 1999, despite having played a prominent role in the 'no' campaign during the 1997 referendum. He became leader of the Welsh Tory AMs the following year and was instrumental in ending the party's opposition to devolution.

He campaigned on the victorious 'yes' side in the 2011 referendum but lost his seat two months later, when a Conservative constituency gain cost him his regional list seat in the Assembly.

Christine Humphreys was also an member of the first Assembly but stood down after just two years.

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