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Wednesday, 7 November, 2001, 18:31 GMT
Lords reform plans at-a-glance
The government has now abandoned its proposals for Lord reform. The main features of that blueprint, set out last year were:

  • The remaining 92 hereditary peers, allowed to sit in the Lords after the first stage of reform, to be ousted.

  • The link between peerage titles and seats in Parliament to end - the peerage will remain only as an honour.

  • One fifth (120 members) of the reformed chamber to be directly elected.

  • About 60% to be nominated by the political parties, according to their share of the vote at the most recent general election.

  • Another fifth to be independent members appointed by the new Appointments Commission, created on a statutory basis to manage and balance the size of the reformed chamber.

  • No name has been suggested for the new-look House of Lords, which the white paper says should not be dominated by any one party.

  • Government control over the membership to transfer to the appointments commission, which will check the integrity of the political parties' nominees.

  • All nominations to meet a quota of a minimum of 30% both men and women, as well as fair representation for the UK's regions and ethnic minorities.

  • Law lords to continue to sit in the second chamber, as will Church of England bishops, whose numbers will be cut from 26 to 16.

  • Representation to be introduced for other faiths and denominations.

  • The transition to new arrangements is due to take 10 years, by which time the number of peers will have been cut from the current 700-plus to 600.

  • Existing life peers to keep their seats while the changes take place.

  • The House of Commons to stay the pre-eminent chamber and the reformed House of Lords will have to defer to the will of MPs.

  • Its role to be to "revise and deliberate" on legislation, but it will only be able to delay, not veto, laws passed in the Commons.

  • The government says it wants to consult on all the plans but particular aspects for further debate include: the balance of different types of members; when elections should be held; and how long members should serve.

  • Whether the new members should continue to be paid only expenses is another issue on which the government wants people's views.

  • See also:

    07 Nov 01 | UK Politics
    Head to head: Lords reform
    07 Nov 01 | UK Politics
    Q&A: House of Lords shake-up
    07 Nov 01 | UK Politics
    Lords shake-up under fire
    20 Jun 01 | UK Politics
    House of Lords reform promised
    08 Mar 00 | UK Politics
    Wakeham defends Lords report
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