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House of Lords: Appointments - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:29 am on 30th January 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Smith of Basildon Baroness Smith of Basildon Shadow Leader of the House of Lords, Shadow Spokesperson (Northern Ireland), Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 11:29 am, 30th January 2020

My Lords, the issue of appointments to your Lordships’ House goes right to the heart of any reform we would see for this place. The Minister will be aware that your Lordships’ House has supported two methods of reform: first, ending the by-elections for hereditary Peers, as proposed by the noble Lord, Lord Grocott, with the overwhelming support of this House; secondly, the report of the noble Lord, Lord Burns, on how to reduce the size of the House and bring some balance into appointments. The only reason why we have not had any reform is that it has been blocked by the Government. In the light of the new commission that the Government intend to set up, can the Minister tell me whether he, the Leader of the House, the Chief Whip or any senior member of the House of Lords leadership team have discussed with the Prime Minister the Burns report and ways to take this forward?