After its election victory in 1997, Labour began its plan to make the Lords more democratic and representative - the first stage of which was the removal of the hereditary element.
This was achieved by the 1999 House of Lords Act. An important amendment allowed 92 hereditary peers to remain members of the Lords for an interim period.
The Act reduced membership from 1,330 to 669 mainly life peers. Discussions continue about the next stage of the reform process.