House of Lords (Cessation of Membership) Bill [HL]

House of Lords written question – answered on 14th February 2013.

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Photo of Lord Ashcroft Lord Ashcroft Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to offer support to the House of Lords (Cessation of Membership) Bill [HL] in the current parliamentary Session.

Photo of Lord Wallace of Saltaire Lord Wallace of Saltaire Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

The Government do not intend to offer support to the Bill. In the absence of full reform, it is the Government's view that there is no easy set of smaller reforms to the House of Lords. In a modern democracy it is important that those who pass legislation should be chosen by those to whom the legislation applies. So reform measures must include introducing elected Members to the House of Lords.

Also, the three core measures of the Bill would not deal with the size of the House of Lords. Provision for retirement is an extension of the non-statutory voluntary retirement scheme, already in place. Only two noble Lords have taken advantage of this so far. Members would only be required to attend once every session to sustain their membership and only future criminals would be removed from the House of Lords.

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