New Peers

Liberal Democrat Constitutional Affairs Spokesman, Lord Tyler, has described the appointment of 56 new life peers as a ‘potential problem’ for reformers. The additions will bring the size of the House up to 763.

Among the crop of 13 Labour ex-MPs making their way to the red benches are five who voted in favour of an all-appointed House when they sat in the House of Commons – John Hutton, John McFall, John Reid, Tom McAvoy and John Prescott.

The former Deputy Prime Minister has made clear that he is entering the Lords expressly to block reform.

Commenting afterwards Lord Tyler said:

“There are many talented individuals in the new Peers list, and they all have my congratulations.

“However, packing in some more opponents of reform, who will be naturally prejudiced to delay their own departure, is a ludicrous mistake. In any case, the membership of the House is already totally unwieldy.

“Ministers must not be deterred by professional procrastinators arguing for yet further consideration on reform, and a longer search for that ever elusive ‘consensus’.

“The Coalition must seize the opportunity to move forward, with all three major parties committed to reform. Ex-Labour MPs who find themselves in the Lords today should remember their own party’s continuing manifesto commitments when they get to vote on the future of the House.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

  1. Lord Tyler has blogged about the new entrants at: http://lordsoftheblog.net/2010/06/02/the-jurassic-johns/
  2. The party breakdown of new Peers is as follows:
    Party/Group WorkingPeers DissolutionHonours Total of
    Working %
    of
    Dissolution %
    Total %
    Con 10 6 16 31% 25% 29%
    LD 6 3 9 19% 13% 16%
    Lab 16 13 29 50% 54% 52%
    DUP 1 1 0% 4% 2%
    CB 1 1 0% 4% 2%
    Total 32 24 56 100% 100% 100%

  3. A total of seven ex-MPs appointed today voted for an all-appointed chamber – on the Labour side, John Hutton, John McFall, John Reid, Tom McAvoy and John Prescott and on the Conservative side, Michael Howard and Sir Michael Spicer.

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