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Reduction in the size of the Lords on track – first year departure targets exceeded


A new report by the Burns Committee today [24 October] reveals that the House of Lords is on course to reduce its size to 600 members. There have been 42 departures from the House - 36 of which were during Year One*.

The report, which follows last year's publication setting out a voluntary package of proposals to reduce the size of the House, shows that the benchmark for Year 1 has been exceeded -the original formula had set a target of 31 departures in the first year of the scheme. The report sets a target for Year Two of 29 departures.

Commenting on today's report, Lord Fowler, the Lord Speaker, said:

“I very much welcome this progress report by Lord Burns and his committee which highlights the advances this House has made in reducing its size with the pleasing result of exceeding the year 1 benchmark.

“The original 2017 report underlined the need for change, and we have taken an important step forward this year in moving toward a smaller, more effective House.

“We acknowledge the decision of the Prime Minister to exercise restraint in making new appointments. I hope Mrs May will now look favourably at the proposals in the report to commit to a cap on the size of the House so that we can continue progress.”

Lord Burns, Chairman of the Committee, said:

“In the 12 months since our original report was published we have seen the size of the House of Lords reduced in line with our recommendations. There is clear support in the House for making progress on this issue and I am optimistic that the parties can build on the start made this year, delivering a significantly smaller House of Lords by the end of the Parliament.”

Following the 2017 report, the House debated the proposals on 19 December 2017 with 95 members taking part and an overwhelming majority of speakers supporting the Committee's proposals.

* Year One benchmark from 8 June 2017 to 7 June 2018

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