Lord Speaker: 'The Politics of Public Engagement'

14 November 2013

The Lord Speaker, Baroness D'Souza, spoke at the University of Sheffield on Thursday 14 November.

The visit was part of an ongoing outreach programme designed to increase public awareness of, and engagement with, the House of Lords. It also marked the launch of Parliament Week 2013.

Baroness D'Souza gave a short lecture, addressing public perceptions of the Lords and its contribution to the parliamentary process. She also posed several questions for the future, including:

  • Is a House of 781 members too large?
  • Should members be appointed for life or for a fixed term of years
  • Should there be an effective retirement mechanism?

The event was chaired by Paul Brand, political correspondent for ITV in Yorkshire, the North East and the Borders. Professor Matt Flinders of the University of Sheffield talked about public engagement with Parliament and the event ended with a short Q&A session.

Earlier in the day, the Lord Speaker made a Peers in Schools visit to the De Warenne Academy in Doncaster. On 15 November, she will attend two events in Bradford - again as part of Parliament Week 2013.

Speaking ahead of her visit to Yorkshire, Baroness D'Souza said: 'My role is to try to explain the work and membership of the House as it is today. I am very much looking forward to the debates, questions and discussions that I hope my visit to Yorkshire will bring. I look forward to hearing from people of all ages, professions and stages of life about how they can, do, or plan to engage with parliament and the House of Lords.'

Further information

Image: House of Lords 2013

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