Wednesday, June 29 2016

Joint Committee report on House of Lords reform

The BBC yesterday covered the report published by the Joint Committee on the Draft House of Lords Reform Bill, on Lords reform.

The committee report recommends that the composition of the upper chamber be changed to comprise an 80/20 split of elected and appointed peers. It also recommends a 15 year fixed term for elected peers, a reduction in numbers, from 800 to 450, and calls for a referendum on reform before any changes are carried out.

Among the recommendations is one that surfaced in the Wakeham Commission’s report on Lords reform concerning the Lords Spiritual and the upper chamber’s need to reflect the UK’s religious diversity in the decision making process.

The Wakeham Commission report in January 2000 argued that “Twenty-six [peers] should be members of Christian denominations, and five from other faiths”.

The Joint Committee in its report yesterday took this on recommending that the Appointments Commission for the reformed House of Lords "should have regard" when recommending individuals for appointment the following:

•         an absence of recent overt party political affiliation;
•         the ability and willingness to contribute effectively to the work of the House;
•         the diversity of the United Kingdom, in the broadest sense;
•         inclusion of the major faiths; and,
•         integrity and standards in public life.

You can read the full report here.

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