Part of House of Lords Reform Bill [HL] – in the House of Lords at 12:45 pm on 10th February 2012.

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Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 12:45 pm, 10th February 2012

My Lords, I hope that the noble Lord, Lord Steel, will resist any sense of moving away from Clause 15, which is absolutely right and makes it clear that a,

"person found guilty of one or more offences", and who is sentenced to imprisonment,

"for more than one year, shall cease to be a member of the House of Lords".

That is a very important point of principle on which I know almost all noble Lords agree, and it is very important that this goes forward. Surely, on the point raised by the noble Viscount, Lord Astor, it is a different issue in relation to elections to the other place. Obviously, there are disqualification provisions in relation to Members of Parliament. In fact, I believe that Clause 15 essentially follows the provisions in relation to Members of Parliament who may be sentenced to prison. However, if a person has served a prison sentence and then puts themselves forward for election, surely that is a matter for the electorate to decide-certainly not this House.