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 You are in: Special Report: 1999: 01/99: Lords reform  
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Lords reform Friday, 15 October, 1999, 08:27 GMT 09:27 UK
Visions of the future
Politicians, peers, bishops and a pop star reveal their views on House of Lords reform and the UK's democracy for BBC News Online.

Tony Benn
Tony Benn is Labour's longest serving MP and a former cabinet minister. He is one of the only people alive to have managed to have reformed the House of Lords to any extent when he was allowed to disown his peerage inherited from his father and retain the right to sit in the House of Commons.

Mr Benn is a long-standing advocate of the reform of not just the House of Lords but the whole of Britain's democracy.


Viscount Cranborne
Viscount Cranborne's family have been in the House of Lords since the reign of Elizabeth I, but as a hereditary peer he now stands to lose his place in the Lords under the government's proposals for reform.

Viscount Cranborne was a former Conservative leader of the House before being sacked by William Hague after he conducted secret meetings with the government behind the Tory leader's back.


Billy Bragg
Billy Bragg is better known for his music rather than his views on the Lords, but he argues for an elected second chamber, which he says would ensure the will of people was felt in the corridors of power.

He outlines a system in which one vote could serve to elect two chambers.


The Bishop of Rochester
The Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, is the first Asian religious leader to sit in the House of Lords. He argues that the chamber should keep its distinct qualities, as well as a special place for religious representatives.

But that may mean the House can not be fully elected.


Pam Giddy
The head of the pro-democracy pressure group, Charter88 argues that everyone in the UK should have their voice heard in the ongoing debate over Lords reform.

The political elite aren't the only people who matters she says.

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


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