Committee (and remaining stages)

Part of Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill – in the House of Lords at 1:15 am on 7th April 2010.

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Photo of Lord Steel of Aikwood Lord Steel of Aikwood Liberal Democrat 1:15 am, 7th April 2010

More than that, my Lords, it is not fair to suggest that we are pushing this through in the wash-up. We have had debates on ending the hereditary by-elections three or four times in this House, and that was carried by a huge majority in the other place after a long debate. The issue has been fully debated.

I say to the noble Lord, Lord Strathclyde, who is not rising from his place in response to my noble friend, that I now feel sorry for David Cameron. Here he is, about to enter an election campaign saying that he has modernised the Conservative Party, and it is seriously going to maintain that in the 21st century people should still join the legislature of this country by heredity, chosen by a few other hereditaries. That is a ludicrous position, yet it is one that the party is determined to maintain and the Government have basically had to give in to blackmail.