Members of the House of Lords debated the constitutional and Parliamentary effect of the coalition government on Thursday 20 January
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean (Labour) opened the debate.
Among the topics of discussion were the:
- characteristics of the different coalition government there have been in the UK
- characteristics of the peacetime coalition governments in the UK in 1918 and 1931
- place of and effect on the governing parties’ manifesto commitments
- use or a closure motion twice in one week in the same debate
- draft of the Cabinet Manual, setting out the main laws, rules and conventions affecting the conduct and operation of Government
- mandate by the electorate for the legislative programme of a coalition government resulting from a hung parliament
Members of the Lords contributing to the debate included:
- Lord Wakeham (Conservative), a member of the House of Lords Procedure Committee who led a Royal Commission on Reform of the House of Lords in 1999
- Lord Hennessy of Nymphsfield (Crossbench), Director of the Mile End Institute of Contemporary British Government at Queen Mary University
- Baroness Royall of Blaisdon (Labour), former Leader of the House of Lords and current Opposition spokesperson for the Cabinet Office
- ord Goodhart (Liberal Democrat), former Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Constitutional Affairs
- Lord Hart of Chilton (Labour), member of the House of Lords Constitution Committee who was special adviser to Lord Falconer when he was Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs
Lord Bates, Lord Plant of Highfield, Lord Dykes, Lord Norton of Louth, Lord Owen, Lord Wills, Lord Tyler, Lord Morgan, Lord Maclennan of Rogart, Lord Greaves, Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe, Lord Butler of Brockwell and Lord Boyd of Duncansby will also participate in the debate.
Lord Strathclyde responded on behalf of the government.