House of Lords Reform

Oral Answers to Questions — Leader of the House – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 15th November 2005.

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Photo of Bob Spink Bob Spink Conservative, Castle Point 2:30 pm, 15th November 2005

What recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on reform of the House of Lords.

Photo of Nigel Griffiths Nigel Griffiths Parliamentary Secretary

My right hon. Friend the Leader of the House holds regular discussions with Cabinet colleagues on all aspects of the Government's programme, including House of Lords reform. The Government remain committed to the manifesto pledges to make further progress in codifying the conventions of the House of Lords and reviewing its functions, as well as placing reasonable limits on the time taken for consideration of Bills in that House. We also plan to remove the remaining hereditary peers, and to hold a free vote on the composition of the House.

Photo of Bob Spink Bob Spink Conservative, Castle Point

Does the Deputy Leader of the House regret the Government's dismantling of the other place without a viable plan to replace it? Does he accept that the natural, logical consequence of that Government action is that the other place will eventually become a wholly, or largely, elected Chamber?

Photo of Nigel Griffiths Nigel Griffiths Parliamentary Secretary

I think that the hon. Gentleman is almost alone in believing that the Government have not made improvements in reform of the other place. Obviously many Members feel that those improvements have not gone far enough, but they are reflected in the manifesto that we put before the electorate, and we intend to follow them through.