Members of the House of Lords, including the chairman of the House of Lords Appointments Commission, a patron of the Tory Reform Group, a former MP and MEP, and the vice-chair of the BBC Group, debated the report of the Labour Peers Working Group on the future of the House of Lords and its place in a wider constitution, on 19 June.
Members discussed reducing the size of the House, highlighting:
- the joint committee’s recommendation of no more than 450 Members
- the need to achieve greater diversity and regional balance in membership
- procedural reform - suggesting all legislation other than Lords private members’ bills should start in the House of Commons, to reinforce its primacy
- modernisation of the House, introducing a legislative standards committee, more ad-hoc committees and the abolishment of wearing robes.
Peers also considered recommendations of a new retirement age of 80, discussed the pros and cons of a fully-elected second chamber and the role of hereditary peers.
Lord Wallace of Saltaire (Liberal Democrat) responded on behalf of the government and stated that although there is commitment to comprehensive reform, it is unlikely that any major changes will be made between now and the next election.