House of Lords

3 Apr 2017

Enough is enough - it's time for a full review of Lords' expenses

It seems that each new batch of expenses from the House of Lords is yet another scandal. This weekend we saw fresh revelations – and with it, some pretty egregious abuses of the system. Yesterday the Sunday Times revealed that some Peers are claiming up to £40,000 a year in expenses – while making little or no contributions to debates, committees or questions. It follows news that former Lords […]
10 Mar 2017

The momentum for Lords reform is growing

Reform often comes through an unusual mix of factors. They stir up within a short space of time – until the whole strange potion explodes. It feels like we might be witnessing that process right now with the House of Lords. Last Sunday the petition for an elected House of Lords hit 100,000 signatures. That means it will now be considered for a debate in Parliament by the Commons’ Petition […]
8 Mar 2017

The House of Lords effectively has seats reserved for men

The House of Lords is back in spotlight this morning, last night having again challenged the government’s Brexit plans by voting 336 to 268 for Parliament to be granted a meaningful vote on the final deal. This coincides with a BBC series Meet the Lords which is providing plenty of fodder for those who believe our second chamber is in need of reform. Watching peers go about their daily work in […]
2 Mar 2017

Lords scandals do a disservice to our democracy – including our MPs

This article was first published by The Times If there’s one thing that’s certain about politics in these volatile times, it’s that MPs aren’t exactly flavour of the month. In fact, they’re ranked below bankers and estate agents when it comes to trust. But they are democratic exemplars compared with their counterparts in the Lords. Virtually without exception MPs fulfil long constituency hours, […]
28 Feb 2017

‘Meet the Lords’ lays bare the scandalous situation in the upper chamber

This article was first published by politics.co.uk Another year, another round of Lords scandals. This time, it’s revelations that a peer left a taxi waiting outside Parliament while he went inside to register for his daily £300 allowance – and then return to hop in his taxi. This isn’t a claim coming from reformers: it’s from the former Speaker of the House of Lords, Baroness D’Souza. She says […]
20 Feb 2017

Lords reform shouldn’t be a threat – it’s a core part of ‘taking back control’

Lords have begun debating the Article 50 Bill . With 191 speakers lined up and plenty of amendments tabled, it’s a fascinating moment for democracy and Britain’s constitution. What we’re witnessing is this: legislation that resulted from a form of direct democracy (a referendum) – and which itself followed a battle over whether Parliament should get a vote on it at all – is now being debated (and […]
14 Feb 2017

The inquiry on cutting the Lords risks looking like a stitch up

Back in December, the House of Lords voted unanimously to back the statement "that this House believes that its size should be reduced, and methods should be explored by which this could be achieved". It was a positive move, even if the rationale seemed slightly worrying – namely, staving off further and more substantial reform (see my blog for more on that). On Tuesday we submitted our evidence […]
7 Feb 2017

How to shrink the Lords: have your say today

A double-decker Lords: on the cards if it continues to grow? (Pic: ERS) If you think the House of Lords is in dire need of a shakeup, it’s time to tell Peers what you think. An inquiry by the Lord Speaker's committee is looking at how to shrink our bloated upper chamber. This week the Daily Mirror launched a push for readers and members of the public to speak their minds on cutting the House of […]
7 Dec 2016

Cutting numbers can’t be the end of the road for Lords reform

It’s a sad but true fact that, in general, it’s not good news that brings the need for Lords reform to the fore in British politics. But on Monday, a packed chamber of Peers gathered to discuss the need to cut the size of the upper house. And while few would have followed the whole debate , it was by all measures a lively discussion, with nearly 60 Peers putting their names down to speak. Because […]
7 Nov 2016

1,000 new Peers? No thanks

“If the Lords was obstructive we would just have to create 1,000 peers.” So said Jacob Rees-Mogg MP on Thursday , following the High Court’s ruling that MPs will have a vote on the triggering of Article 50 – the process for withdrawing from the EU. It’s a terrifying thought. But it’s an attitude that we’ve heard too often over the years – that is, If the House of Lords does too much scrutiny, the […]