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Life Peerages Act 1958 — Motion to Resolve

– in the House of Lords at 8:36 pm on 15th September 2015.

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Moved by Lord Pearson of Rannoch

To resolve that this House considers it an abuse of the constitution for any new peerages under the Life Peerages Act 1958 to be conferred on persons intending to take the Liberal Democrat party whip until at least 12 new peerages under that Act are conferred on persons who intend to take the United Kingdom Independence Party whip.

Photo of Lord Pearson of Rannoch Lord Pearson of Rannoch UKIP 9:03 pm, 15th September 2015

My Lords, I shall be extremely brief. The noble Earl, Lord Caithness, chided me for not including the Scottish National Party in my Motion and remarks. The reason for that omission is that, regrettably, it does not want any seats here, let alone the 35 which its performance at the last general election would give it under the Liberal Democrat coalition policy.

One other important suggestion has been brought home to me during this lengthy but creative debate. We should not concentrate so much on the total size of your Lordships’ House as on average daily attendance. The Library tells me that, as of last week, actual membership was 775, but our average daily attendance is only 483. Yet, before most of the hereditary Peers left us in 1999, we numbered some 1,325 Peers, but the average daily attendance was only some 446, so it is not much more today. Of course, it is daily attendance that costs taxpayers money. Peers who do not attend do not get the daily allowance. If the public understood that better it might do something for our suffering reputation.

That said, I am most grateful to all noble Lords who have supported me. Ever an optimist, I hope that the Prime Minister will take note of our debate. I beg to ask leave to withdraw my Motion.

Motion withdrawn.