Clause 4 — Effect of ceasing to be a member

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:25 pm on 28th February 2014.

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Photo of Jacob Rees-Mogg Jacob Rees-Mogg Conservative, North East Somerset 12:25 pm, 28th February 2014

For once, I will praise the Lord President of the Council, because to be fair to him—my right hon. Friend!—having not been able to get through a massive reform of the House of Lords that would have had enormous constitutional implications, he has shown good grace in not sulking in his den and trying to obstruct this reform. This Bill allows transitions to take place which, although minor in themselves, are actually quite fundamental. A life peerage is now no longer for life, the problem of peers committing offences is dealt with at last—which in some ways is long overdue—the House of Lords is now able to expel peers, and non-attendance has a sanction. I think those reforms make the upper House stronger. That is not to say that I do not have minor qualms about some of the detail, but my hon. Friend the Member for North Warwickshire has been incredibly successful in piloting the Bill, and has done so in such a way that even those of us who are accused of being Neanderthal about constitutional matters are on his side.