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banner Tuesday, 18 January, 2000, 18:34 GMT

Lords reform is the biggest constitutional shake-up since the war


  • 1 May 1997 Labour elected on a platform, which includes stripping away the sitting and voting rights of hereditary peers

  • 24 November 1998 The government unveils its plans to expel hereditary peers from Parliament

  • 2 December 1998William Hague sacks Viscount Cranborne as Tory leader in the Lords after he goes behind his leader's back to negotiate a deal with Tony Blair to keep on some hereditary peers in the Lords on a temporary basis.

  • 12 May 1999 Lord Wakeham's commission hears its first public evidence.

  • 17 June 1999 the government announces the creation of 40 new life peers. This move will give Labour a slight edge of the Tories in the Lords once the hereditaries are removed

  • 27 July 1999 Lord Wakeham chairs the final public hearing on Lords reform in London

  • 27 July 1999 Lord Mayhew wins the right to lodge a legal challenge to the governments plans to expel hereditary peers

  • 22 October 1999 Names of candidates published for those hereditary peers who hope to remain after the first stage of reform under the deal agreed with the government.

  • 27-28 October Election of 15 Deputy Speakers and other office holders

  • 29 October Count takes place and the names of the remaining 75 hereditary peers to be elected are published.

  • 5 November Count takes place, the Clerk of the Parliaments will report the result of the elections to the House at its next sitting.

  • 18 January 2000 Lord Wakeham's commission will deliver its report.

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Links to other Lords reform stories are at the foot of the page.


Links to more Lords reform stories