Jack Straw publishes White Paper on House of Lords reform
Justice Secretary Jack Straw has set out the latest plans for reform of the House of Lords.
Under the proposals most, if not all peers, would be elected and serve terms of between 12 and 15 years.
The Lords would be reduced in size from more than 700 peers to no more than 450. The bishops would stay, but the 92 hereditary peers would be abolished.
Mr Straw told the Commons that any change would only take place after the next General Election.
MPs voted last year in favour of a reformed Lords being either 80% or 100% elected.
Publishing a reform White Paper [why doesn't the BBC link to it?!], Mr Straw stressed that it had never been the government’s intention to legislate in this Parliament.
Instead, a package of proposals would be put to the electorate as a manifesto commitment, he said. …
That’s funny, because the abolishing of hereditary peers was a 1997 Labour manifesto commitment, and there were a few Lords reform commitments in their 2001 manifesto that they haven’t yet fulfilled…
An elected second chamber [PDF 0.63mb, 89 pages]
An elected second chamber – annexes [PDF 1.01mb, 50 pages]