Page last updated at 11:18 GMT, Thursday, 19 April 2012 12:18 UK

Political and Constitutional Reform Committee

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said he would oppose calls for a referendum on reform of the House of Lords.

Mr Clegg told MPs on 19 April 2012 that electing members of the Lords was not nearly as dramatic as had been suggested.

He told the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee that any advocates of a referendum would have to "work hard to make the case that the public should be asked to spend millions of pounds on a referendum".

"Unlike the referendum last year, [Lords reform] is the subject of complete consensus between the parties, we all had manifesto commitments to deliver House of Lords reform...and, when the public is asked, the public, it seems to me, just shrugs its shoulders and says, 'Well of course the people who make the laws of the land should be elected by the people who have to obey the laws of the land'," Mr Clegg said.

The government is proposing that 80% of a new, smaller House of Lords should be elected.

A joint committee of MPs and peers is due to report on the proposals and is expected to argue that the changes to the upper chamber should only go ahead if the public approves them in a referendum.

Mr Clegg told the committee that he would consider the report on reform carefully.

Political and Constitutional Reform Committee membership

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