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Peerage Act 1963

The Peerage Act received Royal Assent and came into force on 31 July 1963, enabling hereditary peers to renounce their titles for life if they wished.   Tony Benn renounced his peerage that same day, declaring 'I am the first man in history who, by Act of Parliament, is prevented from receiving a hereditary peerage.  I am statutorily immunised.'   Three weeks later he regained his seat in the Commons.   Lord Home and Lord Hailsham renounced their peerages later in the year.   At later points in their careers they returned to the Lords as life peers.  In all, eighteen hereditary peers have disclaimed their peerages under the 1963 Act. 

The 1963 Peerage Act also admitted all Scottish peers who had previously been excluded, and abolished the system of Scottish 'representative peers'.   

The exclusion of hereditary women peers in their own right was likewise rectified. 


Peerage Act 1963

Catalogue number

Parliamentary Archives, HL/PO/PU/1/1963/c48