Skip to site navigation

Letter to the Times: Lords reform

13 August 2012

Meg Russell’s letter in The Times

Sir, Lord Steel of Aikwood (“Clegg will look petulant if he walks away”, Aug 8) has suggested that the Constitution Unit might assist in finding the long-term way forward on Lords reform. We would of course be happy to do so. But he is also right that Clegg and Cameron should now be pressed to put through lesser but essential reforms, having abandoned their more ambitious Bill. The chamber has become too big, and the patronage enjoyed by the Prime Minister is indefensible. He still decides how many peers are appointed, when, and from which party. Also indefensible is the absurd system of “by-elections” to replace the remaining hereditary peers when they die.

As David Steel has emphasised, all agree that reforms to end these anomalies are necessary and would strengthen Parliament. The only disagreement is over whether they are sufficient. Nick Clegg told the Commons on May 17 last year that “the key thing is not to make the best the enemy of the good. That approach has stymied Lords reform for far too long”. He was right, and he should remain true to that principle now.

Join the Debate

Blog

News

The ‘Revolving Door’ of Special Advisers?

Wed, 20 Aug 2014 15:24:25 +0000

A recent article in the Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/11037088/Half-of-Gordon-Browns-spads-work-for-charities-clobbying-Coalition-as-Tories-condemn-revolving-door.html) was critical of a ‘revolving door’ of special advisers (spads) from the last Labour government into charities or think tanks. As outlined in the forthcoming book on spads by Ben Yong and Robert Hazell, this blog post wishes to point out that the Telegraph article tells only an […]

Read more...

Lords appointments urgently need reforming: but how?

Thu, 14 Aug 2014 10:00:37 +0000

The appointment of new peers last week has pushed the size of the Lords to its greatest since it was last reformed in 1999. Meg Russell highlights the issues behind having such a large and ‘unruly’ Upper House and argues the situation has now reached crisis point. Reform to both allow existing peers to depart […]

Read more...

Will the Scottish referendum produce ‘a decisive and respected outcome’?

Thu, 14 Aug 2014 10:00:34 +0000

With exactly one month to go until the referendum in Scotland, Barry K Winetrobe challenges the assumption that the outcome will resolve the independence debate. He explores scenarios where even a Yes vote might not (or perhaps even should not) produce an independent state. As the Scottish independence referendum campaign reaches its final days, it […]

Read more...
Mailing List

Connect with us

RSSFlickr

Footer menu