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Page last updated at 08:51 GMT, Wednesday, 27 June 2012 09:51 UK

Government to outline Lords reform plan


The Government is publishing plans to reform the House of Lords today. Under the proposals, peers are expected to be all but halved in number and 80 per cent of them could be elected for 15 years. The issue is seen as hugely important for the Liberal Democrats but there's deep unhappiness among many Conservatives. The Labour Party supports reform but says not enough parliamentary time has been spent debating it.

Speaking on the programme the Lib Dem MP, Jo Swinson, describes that claim as "laughable".

She told presenter Justin Webb: "We've been discussing this for more than a hundred years; there's been report after committee after cross-party talks -- Jack Straw, Siddique Khan from the Labour party were in having talks for a year before we then had the joint committee process. This is an issue that all three parties are committed to. It was in our manifestos, the public has already voted for it."

Conservative Tory MP, Eleanor Laing questioned the Lib Dems' motives. "Why are the Liberal Democrats so keen on doing this when nobody out there in the country cares about it?," she asked.

"What this is really about is giving the Liberal Democrats a permanent balance of power in the second chamber by a system of proportional representation which the country rejected."

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