Amendment 12

Part of House of Lords (Hereditary Peers) (Abolition of By-Elections) Bill [HL] - Report – in the House of Lords at 12:20 pm on 15th March 2019.

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Photo of The Earl of Erroll The Earl of Erroll Crossbench 12:20 pm, 15th March 2019

My Lords, I support Amendments 12, 32 and 33. Funnily enough, on the subject of the declaration of interests, this is one which would potentially remove me in the readjustment and rebalancing of the 90 hereditary Peers who stay here to try to ensure further democratic reform. I am quite happy for that to happen if it will move us forwards in getting a democratic House of Lords. This is where the noble Lord, Lord Adonis, was absolutely spot on.

There is one very useful thing in Amendment 32, which states:

“In exercising its functions, the Commission must ensure … overall party balance in the House of Lords reflects the share of vote secured by the main political parties at the general election”.

The share of the vote would be the number of votes cast overall, and would not reflect the number of MPs in the House of Commons—so you get your proportional representation at least somewhere in Parliament. I am sure the Liberal Democrats will be very pleased with that, because they have been gunning for it for years. That could be a good start and could indicate the way forwards for democracy when we finally start electing both Houses of Parliament.