Progress in sight on Lords Reform Bill

Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for Constitutional Affairs, Lord Tyler, today (Friday) secured assurances from the government that a Bill could soon be brought forward to reform the House of Lords. 

In a debate on a Private Member’s Bill drafted to end hereditary Peers’ right to sit in the second chamber, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath – Constitutional Affairs Minister – committed the Government to producing a further White Paper on reform early in the New Year.

 

Lord Tyler proposed that this White Paper should be accompanied by a draft Bill, to be scrutinised by a Joint Committee of both Houses, so that reform could move forward on the basis of agreement.  The Minister acknowledged the merit of the proposal and said that the White Paper could be followed by draft clauses for parliamentary scrutiny.

Commenting, Lord Tyler said:

 

“The Private Member’s Bill under discussion today contains some welcome proposals but it must be a stepping stone to radical reform, not an island of further delay.

 

“Today signals welcome progress on the Government’s part.  They accept the principle that debate cannot move forward without draft legislative measures to consider.

 

“There was all too much danger that a fresh White Paper might simply signal another round of handwringing and reporting from committees of the great and the good.

 

“The government must now be bold, and follow the logic of Lord Hunt’s conclusions.  The publication of a full draft Bill for detailed scrutiny by a committee of both Houses will move this process forward and minimise misunderstanding between MPs and Peers.

 

“We have had nearly 100 years of talking; Parliament must now legislate.”

 

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors:  Lord Tyler’s full comments in the debate will be published in Hansard tomorrow.

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