Second reading of House of Lords Reform Bill

06 July 2012

The House of Commons held the second day of the second reading of the House of Lords Reform Bill on Tuesday 10 July 2012.

The Bill passed with a division (Ayes 462; Noes 124). Watch and read the second day of the second reading debate and the views expressed by MPs on Parliament TV and in Commons Hansard. 

Watch and read the first day of the second reading debate and the views expressed by MPs on Parliament TV and in Commons Hansard. 

Summary of the Bill

Reform of the House of Lords was a manifesto commitment for the three main parties at the 2010 election, and was included in the Coalition Agreement between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. A draft Bill was published in May 2011, on which a Joint Committee reported in April 2012. The Bill establishes a House of Lords which is mostly, though not wholly, elected, with a three-stage transition to reform.

Key areas

  • most members will serve non-renewable 15 year terms
  • semi-open list elections for large regional seats in mainland Great Britain
  • Single Transferable Vote system for Northern Ireland
  • Members will be able to resign, and may be expelled or suspended
  • pay and allowances will be set by IPSA, with pay being related to the participation of the Member in the work of the House
    the Parliament Acts will still apply to the reformed House of Lords.

Keep up to date with all the proceedings and documentation on the House of Lords Reform Bill and find out how a Bill becomes an Act of Parliament

House of Commons Library analysis

The House of Commons Library produce briefing papers to inform MPs of key issues. The Library published a briefing paper for second reading.

Draft House of Lords Reform Bill

The Cabinet Office published in May 2011 a White Paper and Draft Bill containing proposals for a smaller, reformed House of Lords.

A Joint Committee of both Houses of Parliament conducted pre-legislative scrutiny of the Draft House of Lords Reform Bill.

Second reading

Second reading is the first opportunity for MPs to debate the main principles of the Bill. It usually takes place no sooner than two weekends after first reading.

What happens at second reading?

The Government minister, spokesperson or MP responsible for the Bill opens the second reading debate. The official Opposition spokesperson responds with their views on the Bill.

The debate continues with other Opposition parties and backbench MPs giving their opinions. At the end of the debate, the Commons decides whether the Bill should be given its second reading by voting, meaning it can proceed to the next stage.

What happens after second reading?

The Bill proceeds to committee stage and will be considered in a Public Bill Committee or Committee of the whole House (in the Commons Chamber). Each clause (part) and any amendments (proposals for change) to the Bill may be debated.

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