COMMONS

House of Lords reform: what next?

The Political and Constitutional Reform Committee had decided to conduct an inquiry into what smaller-scale changes to the membership and structure of the House of Lords would be likely to command a consensus. The Committee issued a call for written evidence that addressed some or all of the following points:

  • The desirability, practicality and effectiveness of mechanisms for reducing the size of the House of Lords, including the following:
     no longer replacing hereditary peers in the House of Lords when they die;
     measures to remove persistent non-attendees;
     a moratorium on new peers;
     fixed-term appointments for new peers;
     a retirement age for peers.
  • The effectiveness of the current voluntary retirement scheme for peers introduced following the recommendations of the Leader’s Group on Members Leaving the House.
  • The desirability and scope of a mechanism to expel peers who have been convicted of a serious offence.
  • The desirability, composition and remit of a Statutory Appointments Commission.
  • The scope for establishing a consensus about the principles which should determine the relative numerical strengths of the different party groups in the House of Lords, and for codifying such principles.

Oral and written evidence

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    Glossary

    • Reports and associated evidence – Reports of Committee inquires. This category may also include Special Reports where they are used by a Committee to bring matters relating to conduct of its business to the notice of the House.
    • Responses to Reports - Responses may be published as a Special Report, or as a Command Paper. They may also be appended to a Report should the Committee have substantial comments on the Response, in which case they can be found listed under Reports. 
    • Other oral and written evidence - Evidence taken by the Committee that has yet to or did not result in the publication of a Report. This includes transcripts of recent meetings.
    • Estimate Memoranda - An Estimate memorandum is an explanatory note that accompanies a government department’s estimate (a means by which a department seeks authority from Parliament for its spending plans).
    • Correspondence - Correspondence sent from or received by the Committee or its Chair.