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David Lloyd George (1863-1945)

Proposals to reduce the hereditary element of the Upper House were put forward in 1908 by a select committee chaired by the former premier Lord Rosebery, although they were not debated in the Commons.

It was only when the Lords rejected Lloyd George's People's Budget in November 1909, that the issue of Lords reform became controversial.

The upper class establishment, including King Edward VII, reacted with alarm at the abolitionist language used by Lloyd George when addressing a huge crowd:

 “Should 500 men, ordinary men, chosen accidentally from among the unemployed, override the judgement – the deliberate judgement – of millions of people who are engaged in the industry which makes the wealth of the country?”