Great academic article on Lords reform
By Meg Russell, this could provide excellent background for a student talk/article
With Rishi Sunak reportedly having held talks recently on plans for trimming the membership of the second chamber as a means of firing a torpedo at Keir Starmer's more radical proposals for overhauling who gets to be in the second chamber, a guest paper for the Institute for Government examines what exactly a first stage of reform would be. This first stage of reform would be piecemeal, and undertaken before bigger, and far more complex, plans to change the upper house are thrashed out.
In short, the paper argues that the first stage would comprise of:
- Reducing the size of the House of Lords to no greater than that of the House of Commons.
- Giving the House of Lords Appointments Commission new powers to vet party political peers and oversee the size of the chamber.
- Introducing legislation to deal with the hereditary peers, to either end the by-elections or, more radically, remove these members altogether. A small number who are currently very active might be created life peers.
The arguments regarding reform of the Lords are well worn, and the basis of my teaching notes have been posted in previous blogs, such as here.
A pdf of the full article by Meg Russell is here.