Page last updated at 15:04 GMT, Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Cross benches

In the House of Lords several rows of benches are situated in the middle of the chamber.

These benches separate the main government and opposition frontbenches and are known as cross benches.

Peers who are not members of any particular political party, or who do not, for any reason, take the party whip, sit on the cross benches of the House and are referred to as crossbenchers.

Convenor

As they do not have a party line, crossbench peers do not have a leader.

Instead, they elect a Convenor to look after their interests in the House.

The Bishops and Archbishops in the Lords do not sit on the cross benches but are also uncommitted to any political party.




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