Page last updated at 16:04 GMT, Thursday, 12 July 2012 17:04 UK

Labour attacks Lords reform 'farce'

Shadow leader of the House of Commons Angela Eagle has told MPs that "the government's handling of the House of Lords Bill has descended into farce".

Speaking during business questions to Leader of the House Sir George Young on 12 July 2012, Ms Eagle raised the government's decision to drop a timetabling motion for debate on the House of Lords Reform Bill.

Ms Eagle alleged that PM David Cameron had "lost control of his party" and added: "Despite an explicit promise to me, the leader of the House has failed to make a further announcement about how the government intends to proceed."

Referring to the large Conservative backbench rebellion over Lords reform, Ms Eagle quoted Liberal Democrat peer Lord Oakeshott who, she said, had urged the prime minister not to "cringe to the Tory dinosaurs now that they have tasted blood".

She called for "genuine cross-party discussion" on the matter.

Sir George told her that 26 Labour MPs had defied their party whips and therefore it was not just the Conservatives who had "differences on this issue".

He accused Labour of "willing the end but not willing the means" but saying they supported reform but opposing the programme motion.

Sir George said minister wanted to "reflect" and hold discussions with parties before tabling a new timetable motion.

During debate on the House of Lords Reform Bill at second reading on 10 July 2012, Sir George said ministers would put forward a new timetable for the legislation in the autumn.

Sir George denied that the move was prompted by a backlash from Conservative MPs hostile to the proposals.

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