Hereditary Peers

Deputy Prime Minister written question – answered on 20th March 2014.

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Photo of Frank Field Frank Field Chair, Draft Modern Slavery Bill Committee, Chair, Draft Modern Slavery Bill Committee

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will introduce legislative proposals to provide that the heirs of people who disclaim hereditary peerages cannot claim any hereditary right to membership of the House of Lords; and if he will publish details of how many people entitled to hereditary peerages have renounced their titles where their oldest eligible son has subsequently claimed the title on their death.

Photo of Nick Clegg Nick Clegg The Deputy Prime Minister , Lord President of the Council (Privy Council Office), Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Leader of the Liberal Democrats

The Government's proposals introduced to the House of Commons on 10 July 2012 included plans to end hereditary peerages altogether. The Government have no further specific plans to legislate in this area. Currently anyone in this position has every right to disclaim the title should they so wish.

Eighteen people have disclaimed their titles since the passage of the 1963 Peerage Act, the first being the late Tony Benn. Of those disclaimed peerages, seven have subsequently been claimed by the entitled heir.

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