House of Lords Reform Bill — [2nd Allocated Day]

Part of Local Services (Planning) – in the House of Commons at 5:48 pm on 10th July 2012.

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Photo of Stephen Lloyd Stephen Lloyd Liberal Democrat, Eastbourne 5:48 pm, 10th July 2012

It is a privilege to speak in this debate. I am a new MP; I have been in the House for only two years. Yesterday, I sat for a number of hours listening to the various speeches, and I found some of them quite surreal. As I understand it, there is a majority in this House who support House of Lords reform. The three political parties have had it in their manifestos for many years—or for ever, in the case of the Liberals—but I genuinely found some of the speeches in yesterday’s debate surreal. Reflecting on some of the contributions of my colleagues on the Government Benches, I noted that a number of them who spoke so actively, nay aggressively, against democratising the other place happen to be very Eurosceptic. Over the last couple of years or so, I have often heard them express their loathing of the European Union as an institution, usually by saying that it is undemocratic, unaccountable and thrives on patronage. Curiously, however, many of them spoke yesterday about how much they loved the House of Lords. I found that surreal.