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House of Lords Reform: Unlock Democracy

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Derek: -
Thank you very much for giving us your views on House of Lords reform.  We had over 4,100 responses, including over 2,500 separate submissions in people’s own words.
We sent all your submissions to the joint committee on House of Lords reform on Wednesday - it came to 5,409 pages!  Separately, we also sent them our own, somewhat shorter submission, which took into account your responses to the survey we asked people to fill in.
Here’s what we’ve proposed:

A fully elected second chamber (58% of you said you wanted this);
Elections to use the Single Transferable Vote system or open lists (86% of you wanted STV);
Shorter terms of office, and allow elected members to restand (91% of you said 15 year terms were too long; 76% of you said they should be allowed to restand).
Our submission also took into account our original research into the current members of the House of Lords.  We wanted to test the hypothesis that the House of Lords is full of “experts” who would be lost if we replaced some or all of the Lords with elected members.
Our findings indicate that only 46% of crossbenchers really qualify as experts in their field (11% of the total House of Lords).  Even if you include all the political appointments to the House of Lords, just 27% of them qualify as experts.  This suggests that the proposal to keep a 20% appointed element to the House of Lords would be more than adequate to retain current levels of expertise in the House of Lords, although we ourselves argue for a fully elected Lords and make the argument that there are better ways to involve expertise in the legislative process.
You can read our submission, including a spreadsheet listing the experts in the House of Lords, by following this link:
This is just the beginning in what we anticipate will be a long, hard fight between reformers and the vested interests in the House of Lords.  But it’s a strong start.  We’ll be in touch soon about other ways in which you can help ensure we get reform this time.
With best wishes,
Peter Facey
Director, Unlock Democracy


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