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House of Lords (Hereditary Peers) (Abolition of By-Elections) Bill [HL] - Second Reading

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 12:20 pm on 13th March 2020.

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Photo of Lord Grocott Lord Grocott Labour 12:20 pm, 13th March 2020

My Lords, that was a pretty depressing conclusion to our debate. I have heard that argument many times and I am particularly disappointed that it has fallen to the noble Earl, Lord Howe, to read out the Government’s brief. He is always there taking the bullets when a very difficult job has to be done—in this case, defending the indefensible. He did it as well as anyone could; he adorns any group of hereditary Peers. I have not made, and will not make, any criticism whatever of hereditary Peers in general terms. There are many hereditary Peers who I do not think make a very good contribution, but there are many life Peers who I do not think make a very good contribution. Indeed, the very weak case presented by a number of hereditaries today was that, somehow, hereditary Peers, in their performance in this House, are fundamentally different from any other group in the Chamber.