Lords Reform

28 Feb 2017

‘Meet the Lords’ lays bare the scandalous situation in the upper chamber

This article was first published by politics.co.uk Another year, another round of Lords scandals. This time, it’s revelations that a peer left a taxi waiting outside Parliament while he went inside to register for his daily £300 allowance – and then return to hop in his taxi. This isn’t a claim coming from reformers: it’s from the former Speaker of the House of Lords, Baroness D’Souza. She says […]
20 Feb 2017

Lords reform shouldn’t be a threat – it’s a core part of ‘taking back control’

Lords have begun debating the Article 50 Bill . With 191 speakers lined up and plenty of amendments tabled, it’s a fascinating moment for democracy and Britain’s constitution. What we’re witnessing is this: legislation that resulted from a form of direct democracy (a referendum) – and which itself followed a battle over whether Parliament should get a vote on it at all – is now being debated (and […]
14 Feb 2017

The inquiry on cutting the Lords risks looking like a stitch up

Back in December, the House of Lords voted unanimously to back the statement "that this House believes that its size should be reduced, and methods should be explored by which this could be achieved". It was a positive move, even if the rationale seemed slightly worrying – namely, staving off further and more substantial reform (see my blog for more on that). On Tuesday we submitted our evidence […]
7 Dec 2016

Cutting numbers can’t be the end of the road for Lords reform

It’s a sad but true fact that, in general, it’s not good news that brings the need for Lords reform to the fore in British politics. But on Monday, a packed chamber of Peers gathered to discuss the need to cut the size of the upper house. And while few would have followed the whole debate , it was by all measures a lively discussion, with nearly 60 Peers putting their names down to speak. Because […]
17 Aug 2016

The House of Lords needs more than tinkering

Lords reform is back on the agenda. And given the frequency of scandals we see in the upper chamber, that’s no surprise. A couple of weeks ago, we revealed that David Cameron’s 189 appointments to the Lords have cost the taxpayer over £13m over the past six years, and his farewell gift of 16 Peers will set us back nearly half a million pounds per year. So it was good to see the Labour party […]
8 Aug 2016

David Cameron’s Farewell Gift

Now that David Cameron has moved out of Number 10, the staggering bill he has left behind is starting to become apparent. Since 2010, he has appointed 205 new life peers to the House of Lords – unelected legislators who can change the very laws we all live under, yet remain entirely unaccountable to the British public. The final 16 who joined the second chamber on the former Prime Minister’s […]
12 Feb 2016

More Lords, fewer MPs?...

Since 2010, the Prime Minister has appointed rather a lot of Peers. 244, to be precise. That’s a lot of new politicians. So it was strange to hear the news on Friday that the government are going ahead with cutting the number of MPs from 650 to 600. The government is ignoring the advice of the Commons Political and Constitutional Committee, published last March. Why? Because they want to ‘cut the […]
6 Jan 2016

2016: A Year in Democracy

Last year was a busy one for democracy – so it was busy for us at the ERS too. We called out the most disproportionate election in British history, brought to light scandals in the House of Lords, ran two ‘ Citizens Assemblies ’, promoted the Proportional Representation Bill , and challenged the government on English Votes for English Laws , votes at 16 , cuts to opposition funding , and a whole […]
4 Jan 2016

Our top ten most read blogs of 2015

2015 was the busiest year ever for the Electoral Reform Society blog, with monthly readership over double the level we had in 2014. As we get stuck in to 2016, we thought we’d look back over the top ten most read blogs of 2015. The dash for cash At number ten we had the news from May that over £100,000,000 was donated to ten political parties in the run up to the 2015 election, more than double […]
4 Dec 2015

It's time 16 and 17 year olds got the vote

Last month saw a big victory for campaigners for a fairer franchise: the House of Lords supported giving 16 and 17-year-olds a vote in the EU referendum. Votes at 16 is now in the Bill. But this Tuesday, MPs will decide whether to keep it in there or remove that right. We are strongly urging them not to remove the right for 16 and 17-year-olds to have a say. Why? In addition to some of the well […]