Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Tuesday, August 3, 1999 Published at 19:13 GMT 20:13 UK


UK Politics

Keep 'distinctive' upper house - Bishop



The Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, is the first Asian religious leader to sit in the House of Lords.

In the fourth of a series of articles on Lords reform written for BBC News Online he sets out his views on the future of the House as Labour moves on with its plans for reform.

As one of the Church of England's 26 representatives in the House the bishop hopes the Church will retain its special independent position within Parliament.

To send us your views on Lords reform click here.

It is my hope that a reformed House of Lords will be distinctive and yet representative.

A distinctive representativeness will probably mean that it cannot be wholly elected.

Lords Reform
It will need members from a broad cross-section of the community representing the professions, business, trade unions, universities, ethnic groups and faith communities.

Naturally, the method of appointment should inspire confidence. Non-political members should be there either ex-officio (like the Law Lords and Bishops) or appointed in a way that is seen as independent.

I hope that a way can be found to appoint some representatives from other churches and faiths, while maintaining the special position of the established Church.

The House should remain a place for reflecting in a relatively calm way, on national and international issues and it should have the expertise and the experience to do so.

It should continue to be seen as a revising chamber, where primary legislation can receive a good hard look before it becomes the law of the land.

Finally, it should be a resourcing institution, where the accumulated wisdom of the nation is made available to addressing particular problems.

I look forward to my own role in the shaping of such a chamber.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©


UK Politics Contents

A-Z of Parliament
Talking Politics
Vote 2001

Relevant Stories

27 Jul 99 | UK Politics
Give Lords 'more authority' - Cranborne

26 Jul 99 | UK Politics
Public must be heard on Lords reform

22 Jul 99 | UK Politics
Ensuring the will of the people





Internet Links


The House of Lords

Diocese of Rochester


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Livingstone hits back

Catholic monarchy ban 'to continue'

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Straw on trial over jury reform

Blairs' surprise over baby

Conceived by a spin doctor?

Baby cynics question timing

Blair in new attack on Livingstone

Week in Westminster

Chris Smith answers your questions

Reid quits PR job

Children take over the Assembly

Two sword lengths

Industry misses new trains target