Summaries of written evidence submitted to the Joint Committee on Draft House of Lords Reform Bill

The written evidence submitted to the Joint Committee on Draft House of Lords Reform Bill is available in full online at the Committee's section of the official Parliament website here.

We have listed the contributors below, together with a very brief summary of key points made in each submission. The numbering corresponds to the numbering in the full online version, so that the full version of each submission can be easily found online.

1. Jonathan Boot

The House of Lords works very well at present. Should remain all appointed. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. The proposals would lead to greater expense, loss of experienced and professional members, and a more partisan chamber. The Steel Bill should proceed.

2. Vernon Bodganor, Research Professor, Institute of Contemporary History, King’s College London.

Direct election, however much the principle is qualified, is likely to make the second chamber more powerful. It would become an opposing rather than a revising chamber. In the USA there is the risk of gridlock when the Presidency and Congress are controlled by different parties. A government that tampers with the present arrangements does to at its peril.

3. Roger Fitzpatrick.

The functions of the two Houses should be changed so that the House of Commons deals with defence, foreign relations and the law of the land, security and justice. The House of Lords would adminster all public services. Both Houses should be elected.

4. Christopher Hartigan.

An elected House of Lords would cost many millions of pounds and would not produce the current quality of service. The present house contains a treasure of expertise and experience. Lord Steel’s Bill should be implemented. Party-nominated Peers should reflect in number the share of vote in the last General Election.

5. John F H Smith.

Potential conflict, even constitutional crises, could arise from two elected Houses. Members of the House of Lords should be expert, non-adversial, and not bound by party politics. Such people will be deterred by the election process. Proposes appointment of Peers via 16 specialist colleges.

6. Michael Keatinge.

Few of the people who would best carry out the work of the House of Lords would stand for election. Members should be free, so far as possible, of party pressure. Members should be part time, with continued involvement in their professions. There is no compelling benefit from adopting election to the second chamber.

7. Simon Gazeley, former Council Member, Electoral Reform Society.

Elections to the House of Lords should be by pure STV, not by an open or closed party list system. The latter would weaken the quality and independence of the elected members.

8. Lord Ralph Lucas.

Proposals would result in a much weakened House of Lords, or one engaged in political combat with the House of Commons. Should be 600 part time members, not 300 full time. Election should be on the basis of single national party lists, published prior to the election. Electors would tick the box for the party they support.

9. Alice Oriwordi.

House should reduced to 300, all elected. No seats as of right for Bishops or Hereditary Peers. The Lords should get rid of the ermine robes etc. It just makes the Lords look more remote.

10. Lord Lipsey.

Estimates that the proposals would cost £433m in the 2015 to 2020 parliament alone, equivalent to 80,000 hip replacements or the salary for 21,000 nurses for a year. The functions of the House of Lords would be best discharged by an appointed rather than an elected house. An appointed house can also be relied on not to pursue a challenge to the elected house too far, too often.

11. Craig Whittaker MP.

300 members is too few to carry out the functions. 450 would be more realistic. Would require massive increase in cost. There has been no fundamental review of the function of the House. Is opposed to the draft Bill.

12. James Hand.

A part-time house would not need to be salaried, would allow the members to retain their active links with the real world and better prepare them when they leave the House. Life Peers should be elected by their fellows. Party numbers to be based on General Election results. The proposals incur high cost, both financial and experiential.

13. Lord Jenkin of Roding.

The whipping system in the Lords is much less compelling than that in the House of Commons. Peers are more likely than MPs to take up issues put to them by outside bodies, such as NGOs, and to speak and vote in support of them. Elections to the House of Lords would destroy its independence, its expertise, and its relevant freedom from Party control.

14. Simon Hix and Iain McLean.

As everybody who voted for a major party in 2010 voted for a manifesto commitment to an elected upper house, the Goverrnment has an unquestionable mandate to introduce elections. STV is better than first past the post. 80% elected is better than 100% elected. There should be no ex-officio seats for Bishops.

15. Ken Batty.

The present House of Lords has two advantages over an elected chamber. Firstly, being unelected it does not threaten the primacy of the House of Commons. Secondly, it has a higher degree of expertise than the House of Commons, and is less filled with career politicians who have no other experience.

16. Lord Wright of Richmond, with the following Crossbench Peers: Butler-Sloss, Fritchie, Hannay of Chiswick, Janvrin, Kakkar, Low of Dalston, Luce, Ramsbotham, Tenby, Williamson of Horton.

The 80% elected is much better than the 100% elected, because few Crossbenchers have the resources to fight and win an election. A 100% elected chamber is likely to be dominated by party-affiliated Peers, with the loss of the valuable expertise and independence of the Crossbench Peers.

17. Sir Stuart Bell MP.

The concept of conflict between two elected Chambers is clearly building up. No-one suggests the Monarch should be elected. An elected Second Chamber should only come into existence after all those conventions that now exist between Lords and Commons are codified in an Act of Parliament.  

18. Council of the Law Society of Scotland.

The Council takes the view that many aspects of the reform of Parliament and in particular the reform of the composition, role and powers of the House of Lords are political issues on which the Council cannot have a view.

19. Lord Foulkes of Cumnock.

Accepts that in a democracy both Chambers should be elected. But before elections are introduced to the Lords there needs to be a fundamental review of its functions, and of its relationship with the Commons. Meanwhile changes as proposed in Lord Steel’s Bill should be implemented.

20. Jim Riley.

There is no reason that the electoral districts elect the same number of members at each election.

21. Lord Goodhart QC.

The allocation of new political seats should be allocated to parties on the basis of the voting (not to the number of seats won) at the previous General Election. This reduces the argument that the Lords will become a challenge to the Commons. Term limit of 15 years is reasonable. There should not be ex-offico seats for Bishops.

22. Mark Ryan, Senior Lecturer in Constitutional and Adminstrative Law.

UK-wide referendum should be held before enacting the proposed changes. An elected House of Lords will be more aggressive and assertive in its dealings with the Commons.

23. Sir John Baker QC.

In recent decades one of the strongest safeguards against absolutism and careless government has been the House of Lords. It should continue to be appointed, but with the power appointment wholly transferred from the Prime Minister to the Appointments Commission. Only the most wealthy independents would get elected to an elected House. No reasoned case for election was advanced in the White Paper.

24. Professor Hugh Bocke, Dr Andrew Defty, Jane Kirkpatrick.

The purpose of retaining an appointed element in a reformed chamber is not clear. Not clear that appointed members bring more expertise than elected members.

25. British Humanist Association.

No justification for Bishops having ex-officio right to seats in Lords. An ICM survey conducted on behalf of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in March 2010 found that 74% of the British public, including 70% of Christians, agree.

26. Liam Finn.

Second Chamber should be called the House of Senators. No ministers or other members of government should sit in the House of Senators. Party whips should be abolished in House of Senators. The Monarch’s royal assent prerogative should be abolished and Acts of Parliament should be certified by the Speaker of the House of Commons.

27. Dr Colin Tyler.

The proposals will divide sovereignty within Parliament, thereby making it harder for Parliament to act at all (see the recent problems with the US budget). There is nothing self-evident about the claim that the Bill is necessary in order to render the second chamber more democratic.

28. Lord Judd.

Politics has become perceived as a closed profession with an increasing number of MPs and peers having too little in depth, prolonged experience in their lives other than politics. A conventionally elected body in the mould of parliamentary elections would be an own goal. Bishops should not have seats as of right.

29. Bishop of Worcester.

The case for an elected component in the House of Lords has yet convincingly to be made. Risk of challenge to primacy of Commons. Loss of independence and expertise provided by those members with professional expertise or distinguished public service. Bishops, who have close community links, can act as informed participants in debate.

31. Programme for Public Participation in Parliament.

Parliament should contain not only full time politicians but also part time politicians who have a life outside politics. It is important to main links with business, the professions, and civil society. The country does not need 300 more full time politicians.

32. Dr Stephen Watkins.

1,000 members called aldermen should serve one day a fortnight in the House of Lords, and also serve on their local Council. 240 senators should serve for two days per week.

33. Dr. Helena Mckeown.

Each of the 312 seats proposed by the Government should be job shared between four and ten members amounting in total to 2 whole time equivalent. Part time mbers would create a more balanced chamber representing a wider range of interests.

34. Green Party.

Every member of the House of Lords should be elected. 10 year term is better than 15 year term. Should be a single constituency for the country, to maximise proportionality.

35. Dr Alan Renwick, University of Reading.

Claims that the proposed reforms would destroy Commons primacy are greatly exaggerated. A limited increase in the power of the House of Lords might well be desirable. Elections would not obviously deprive the chamber of experience, expertise, and independence. The move to a full-time salaried chamber is likely to discourage many of the best candidates from running.

36. Bernard Jenkin MP.

The House of Lords currently performs its functions well. An elected House is more likely to lead to clashes and deadlocks with the Commons. The Crossbench Peers bring expertise to the chamber. The proposals would be costly. There is little evidence of strong public support for introducing an elected upper house. The present number of Bishops should remain.

37. Fawcett.

Many countries writing new constitutuions include some form of quota requirements to ensure equitable representation of women. Legislation should stipulate that no one sex should constitute less than 30% of the upper chamber. The Appointments Commission should be statutorily required to appoint equal numbers of women and men.

38. Ralph Hindle.

Membership for live, full-tme and part-time for some. National elections by internet annually. Maintain present number of Bishops. Maintain hereditary peers. No MPs or former MPs may stand for election. Candidate lists created through existing voting systems within professional institutions.

39. Counting Women In (comprising Women and Democracy, Electoral Reform Society, Fawcett Society, Hansard Society, Unlock Democracy).

The under representation of women in Westminster and in town halls represents a democratic deficit. STV would help. Legislation should ensure that parties’candidates and appointments comprise equal numbers of men and women.

40. Pauline Latham MP.

The proposed reforms are unnecessary ad could damage the current system of the Upper Chamber, which are extremely effective. The current system is well acknowledged to work superbly. Proposals would exclude an enormous amount of expertise, for example in academia, health, business, and the services. Threat to primacy of Commons.

41. Andrew George MP.

Hereditaries should end, number of peers should be reduced and limit to term of service is good. Not convinced the reform of the Lords requires a complete antithesis as proposed. Form should follow function. We should seek for the second chamber to become less rather than more tribal, which is what would happen under the present proposals.

42. Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe.

Is the oldest religious voluntary organisation in the UK of South Asian origin. There should be a voice of the faith community in the House of Lords.

43. Penny Mordaunt MP.

Two elected chambers will lead to constitutional crisis. The current House of Lords has a settled and accepted view of its position in the constitution; a new House composed of elected members could not be expected simply to conform to that view. Bishops should continue to be represented. The constitution and centuries of tradition are not the play things of transient politicians, but should be respected and cherished.

44. Imran Hayat.

Bishops should not have an automatic right to sit in the House of Lords. If they are allowed to remain, other faiths should also have seats as of right.

45. Nadhim Zahawi MP.

More elections does not equal modernisation. It is very beneficial that the House of Lords contains world renowned experts on many topics. This unique mix of knowledge and skill serves the country with distinction.

46. Democratic Audit.

An independent research organisation, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, based at the University of Liverpool. The move to elections is welcome. But it must be recognised that an elected second chamber will become more assertive. Use of PR for the elections is welcome.

47. Dr Julian Lewis MP.

An elected second chamber would be less subordinate to the Commons. Independents would be virtually excluded from an elected Lords as they are today from the Commons. 60 Independent Members would be a great reduction in the number of people in the Lords today who are not career politicians. An elected Lords would be less independent minded.

48. Donald Shell.

Conventions cannot be codified in legislation, but concern over Commons primacy could in part be met by amendment of the Parliament Acts. Strong supporter of an appointed Crossbench element. 20% is a minimum; 33% would be preferable. Bishops should not be retained ex-officio. 300 is too small. There should be a limit on the number of Prime Ministerial appointments.

49. All Party Humanist Group.

Takes no position on Lords Reform as such. No grounds for reserving a set number of places for Church of England Bishops. It is discriminatory in terms of religion and gender.

50. Peter Riddell, Chairman of Hansard Society.

Draft Bill is deeply flawed. Para 2 of the draft Bill, stating that there would be no change in the constitutional relationship between the two Houses, is nonsense. Members of an elected Lords would feel they have a much stronger right to challenge the Commons. Broader reforms would be necessary to avoid damaging conflict between the Houses. An interim measure, such as Lord Steel’s Bill, should be implemented.

51. Unlock Democracy.

House of Lords should be fully elected, elected in halves for 8-10 year terms. Size between 250 and 350. Experts should be brought in via the committee system. Government ministers should not sit in the Lords. Members of Lords should be barred from standing for the Commons for a lengthy period.

52. Richard Douglas.

Proposals risk constitutional gridlock. The Lords should remain unelected, with two classes of peer: one with the right to sit in parliament, one without.

53. Muslim Council of Great Britain.

The proposal to reduce the number of Bishops from 26 to 12 will be disastrous. But there should also be seats as of right for minority religious communities.

54. Professor Gavin Phillipson, Durham Law School, University of Durham.

Strongly defends a hybrid House, with at least 20% appointed. This is not a poor compromise but rather a better intellectual solution. It would be better of 40% were appointed. Anyone with a concern for civil liberties should be deeply concerned at the prospect of a second chamber that replicates the Commons.

55. Electoral Reform Society.

Supports 100% elected Lords, with STV; codifying existing conventions to ensure primacy of Commons; no reserved seats for Bishops;  members of Lords to be banned for four years from standing as MPs; thresholds or other positive measures to ensure diversity of party candidates. Smaller chamber is desirable.

56. John Wainwright.

Proposal to retain seats as of right for Bishops is welcome. They make a valuable contribution to the House, for example on education, health care, and prison reform. Other faiths should also have seats as of right.

57. Lord Howarth of Newport.

The proposals would not improve the performance of parliament. People do not want more elections, and they do not want more politicians with salaries, allowances and pensions. An elected Lords would become more assertive. The constitution should not be altered at a whim. Better to concentrate on reforming the existing House of Lords.

58. Dr Meg Russell, The Constitution Uniit, University College London.

Bicameral arrangements worldwide are extremely diverse, in terms of composition and powers. Directly election second chambers are less common in parliamentary systems than might be assumed, although more common under presidential systems. Of 76 second chambers, only 21 are composed entirely of directly elected members. The primacy of the first chamber is not recognised in those systems where the chambers share coequal powers (particularly in presidential systems).

59. Joseph Corina.

The proposals arise from political and ideological interests and are not based on practical, logical considerations. The proposals would be the most sweeping constitutional change since 1701. To elect a House with the purpose of scrutiny based on expertise is as absurd as electing the new CEO of Apple.

60. Martin Wright, former Director, Howard League for Penal Reform.

A system producing an upper house elected largely on party political lines would be a serious mistake. The candidates would be unlikely to bring any wider experience beyond the skill, shared with MPs, in persuading people to vote for them. Chartered Institutes and leading voluntary organisations should put forward persons of distinction from their profession or field.

61. North Yorkshire for Democracy.

In a 300 member Lords there should be 6 parallel chambers of 50 members each, each chamber being devoted to a single subject area. Voters would vote separately for the members of each sub-chamber.

62. Lord Grocott.

An elected second chamber would present a serious problem in respect of war power. Can an elected Lords be prevented from expressing a view on war or peace? If not, what happens if the Commons says go to war and the Lords says don’t?

63. Lord Sacks, Chief Rabbi.

The House of Lords is a fine institution in need of reform. Christian representation should be broadened, and representatives of non-Christian faiths should be included.

64. David White.

Lords should have 200 members, all elected in halves every 5 years. New Parliament act is needed to replace the 1911 and 1949 Acts.

65. Damien Welfare, Campaign for a Democratic Upper House.

Democratic reform of the second chamber is central to improving the legitimacy and effectiveness of Parliament as a whole. It is a fundamental principle in a democracy that those who participate in making the laws should be chosen by those who are governed.

66. Viscount Younger of Leckie.

Strong preference for an appointed and not an elected Upper House. Elections to Lords would destroy the delicate and effective constitutional balance between the Houses. Size of Lords should not exceed 500, suggests 400. Supports single 15 year term. Supports Steel Bill as a measured and sensible way forward.  Vacancies among hereditary peers should lapse instead of being filled by by-election.

67. Earl of Sandwich.

Size of Lords should be reduced. But there is no case for wholesale reform. Supports moderate reform.

68. Lord Rowe-Beddoe.

In a hybrid House the vote of an elected person would be perceived to be worth more than that of an appointed member. Instead of change to the composition of the House of Lords, we should focus instead on the creating of a written constitution.

69. Lord Bilston, on behalf of an ad hoc group of Labour Peers.

The group has wide range of views including unicameralists, supporters of a fully elected House, and supporters of modest changes. All are concerned that the proposals will fundamentally alter the balance of power between the components of the constitution. Before introducing elections to the House of Lords, fundamental decisions need to be made about the powers and relationships between the two houses.

70. Lord Comack, on behalf of the Campaign for an Effective Second Chamber.

Campaign comprises almost 200 MPs and peers drawn from the three main parties and other parties. The campaign is opposed to the proposals for an elected second chamber. How will conflicts between the two chambers be resolved? Also, the proposals would lose valuable expertise from the House. Reforms on the lines of Lord Steel’s Bill should be implemented.

71. Lord Grenfell.

Where the peole are prepared toentrust a legislative function to a non-elected chamber of parliament, their consent to such an arrangement confers political legitimacy on that institution. There is no need for elections to achieve democratic legitimacy for the House of Lords.

72. Archbishops of Canterbury & York.

At a time of considerable public concern over our national political life, it must be highly questionable whether a largely or wholly elected House would increase public confidence. It is also not easy to justify, at a time of great economic uncertainty, increasing substantially the cost to the taxpayer of the House of Lords. The benefits for a wholly or largely elected House are nor more than an assertion. Exclusion of Bishops would weaken the character of the established status of the Church of England.

73. Lord Low of Dalston.

The qualities required of members of a revising chamber are more those of expertise and experience than the more nebulous quality of representativeness. The problem of legitimacy is more a matter of perception than reality. Any elections should be based on ‘constituencies of expertise’.

74. Lettter from Dominic Grieve, Attorney General, to Lord Richard, Chairman of the Joint Committte, 7.11.2011.

Not sure that it would be appropriate for the Law Officers to advise the House of Lords on whether the Parliament Acts could be used to enact legislation which provided for a change of the composition of the House of Lords if the House of Lords refused to give its approval to such proposals.

75. Jesse Norman MP.

There is a clear case for thoughtful reform, covering ending of elections for Hereditary Peers, a more independent process of political patronage, and removal of peers who have committed a serious criminal offence. But the proposal for elections risks disturbing the balance of power between the Houses, would be costly, and would tend to exclude people of distinction in wider fields found in the present House of Lords.

76. Martin Limon.

Britain needs a written constitution, with national assemblies for all the constituent nations of the UK, including England. Would like to see the complete abolition of the House of Lords. As an interim measure would propose a wholly elected revising chamber with 100 directly elected members.

77. Theos.

A Christian think tank which carries out research into the role and place of religion in society. In addition to any Bishops having seats as of right, the Appointments Commission should have an explicit intention to see religions traditions represented in the wider appointed portion of the House, including prominent lay figures from religious minorities.

78. National Secular Society.

Takes no position on whether the House of Lords should be wholly or mainly elected. It is vitally important that the reformed Second Chamber should not have any specific religious representation whether ex-officio or appointed, whether of Christian denominations or any other faiths.

79. Lord Higgins.

Our system is already 100% democratic, with democracy resting in an elected House of Commons. Having a House of Lords elected would not increase democracy in the UK one iota. The Government should drop its Bill and should withot delay take over the Steel Bill instead.

80. Michael Winters.

300 is too few members. The influence of the party system in the Lords should continue to be not so great as in the House of Commons. The Alternative Vote would be more appropriate than STV for elections to the House of Lords.

81. Christine Windbridge.

I would be surprised if evidence is available that suggests the public are so consumed by an unelected House of Lords that they will gladly pay an unknown amount to enable a second chamber of elected party members to scrutinise the best efforts of the first chamber of elected party members. No estimate is offered for the increased running costs of the new House of Lords and the timing of this Bill is completely out of step with the prevailing mood of the public, facing severe cuts and general uncertainty and coming straight after the debacle of Parliamentary Members’ expenses.

82. David le Grice.

If there are to be any appointments to the upper house the Appointments Commision should make sure these people come from as diverse a range of backgrounds and experience as possible. There is no case for Bishops to have seats as of right. The Prime Minister should not have the right to appoint Ministers to the House of Lords.

83. John Wood.

The only acceptable method of selecting members for the reformed second chamber is random selection from the electoral roll. A chamber selected in this way would be a microcosm of the UK electorate, with an unrivalled breadth and depth of the UK population’s needs.

84. Lord Luce.

All members should continue to be appointed. The Government has not demonstrated how an elected chamber would perform its responsibilities better than a reforme appointed House.

85. The Electoral Commission.

More research is needed on the timing of elections. Rules on election expenditure need to be put in place well before the first House of Lords election.

86. Norman Payne.

The giving of seats in the legislature to religious representatives as of right is unfair, unequal, and against the aims of a more transparent and legitimate chamber.

87. Edward Choi.

Introducing elections to the House of Lords is an undesirable Americanisation, which would put at risk the independent, long term, view taken by members of the Lords. The Bishops should retain seats, since the Church of England is the national religion.

88. The Venerable Seelawimala, Head Monk, London Buddhist Vihara.

Oppose the proposal to reduce the number of seats for Bishops. The faith seats should be kept at the present number with some being allocated to faiths other than the Church of England.

89. Lord Desai.

If the second chamber were to be elected, the primacy of the Commons could not be taken for granted. This would be more so if the Lords is elected by proportional representation. Those who do run for election to the new House wbe not of the quality which there is in the House of Commons. Members could be elected via professional bodies such as the Royal Society, BMA, TUC, and the Law Society.

90. Professor Jonathan Tonge.

Explains how the STV system has impacted on the Northern Ireland Assembly. Result is highly proportional. Healthy turnouts have been achieved. Independents struggle to be elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly due to the party and ethnic bloc loyalties of the electorate.

91. Hansard Society.

A comprehensive review of the legislative powers of the Executive and Parliament needs to be undertaken with a view to drawing up a concordat as to where key powers lie. A shift from an appointed to an elected house is right because the public should have the opportunity to elect those who make laws. There should be a legal requirement for parties to provide equal numbers of male and female candidates.

92. Lord Sudeley.

Supports the re-instatement of Hereditary Peers. Regards the Government’s proposals as adolescent thinking. Supports the retention of Bishops within the House of Lords.

93. Professor Andrew Le Sueur ( enclosing six memoranda from first year LLB students studying public law at Queen Mary, University of London.

Cecilie Rezutka. Contribution of Independent Members is vital. They should have 100 of the 300 seats. Minimum age of 35.

Dimo Manov. Indirect election would be more appropriate. A directly elected House of Lords would challenge Commons primacy.

Miruna Anghelescu. It would be highly problematic to reconcile the new, more legitmate composition of the Lords with the existing restrictions upon its powers.

Benik Reef. The draft Bill is reinforcing an outdated system by continuing to provide automatic seats for Church of England Bishops.

Kim Varis. Providing automatic rights to seats for Bishops is contrary to the aim of making the House of Lords visibly more democratic.

Daniel Shintag. Further democratic reforms are likely to be a constraint source of friction between the two chambers. The House of Lords should be wholly appointed.

94. Mark Harper MP.

Writes to Lord Richard on 10.10.2011 to clarify that officials have had no discussion with other faith groups.

95. Mark Harper MP.

Writes to Lord Richard saying that legal advice had been received that it would be permissible under the Equality Act 2010 to make use of protected characteristics such as age, sex or race when selecting transitional members.

96. Mark Harper MP.

Writes to Lord Richard with a detailed analysis of those who attended the House of Lords in April to Juune 2011 by age.

97. Lord Peston, Lord Barnett, and Baroness Gould of Potternewton.

It is obvious that if a substantial elected element is included in the new House of Lords they will demand more powers and will not regard themselves as subservient to the Commons. The House should be wholly appointed.

98. Lord Cobbold.

Current House of Lords performs a valuable functions. It needs some reforms, but the Government’s proposals amount to abolition rather than reform. Strongly supports Lord Steel’s Bill. Any reduction in the size of the House would have to be phased over at least five to ten years.

99. Harry Lees.

Ours is the only democratic country to give seats in its legislature to religious representatives as of right, and I believe that having any reserved places for Bishops in parliament is unfair, unequal, and against the aims of a more transparent and legitimate second chamber.

100. Philip Bradshaw.

All members (500 in number) should be appointed by an independent appointments commission. Of these only 100 would have a vote. They would be nominated by each party, with the number of voting seats for each party being proportional to the votes cast in the last General Election (subject to a minimum threshold of 1% share of national vote).

101. James H Davies.

Strongly opposes Bishops having seats as of right in a reformed House of Lords. Unfair, unequal, and against the aims of a more transparent and legitimate second chamber.

102. Lord Maclennan of Rogart.

It must be doubted that an elected second chamber would be agree to play second fiddle for long. Conventions could be overturned. The elections should, as in the US Senate give representation to Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland more equal representation than would per capita elections. This would avoid English representatives dominating the chamber.

103. St.Philip’s Centre.

A Leicester-based multi-faith charity. In a fully elected House of Lords a ‘lower tier’ of membership would enable expert practitioners to scrutinise legislation through House of Lords committees.

104. Dr Alan Renwick and Professor Iain McLean.

Provide a briefing, at the request of the Joint Committee, on the operation of electoral systems, either an open-list proportional system or a single transferable vote (STV) system.


The Lordsreform.org website aims to inform public debate on changes proposed to the House of Lords in the 2011 White Paper. To focus discussion, it proposes some key changes to the Draft Bill regarding part-time Peers, size of House, and indirect elections. The website is edited by Dr Alex Reid.


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