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House of Lords
The Second Chamber of Parliament
House of Lords

The House of Lords is the upper house of the UK Parliament. It is independent from the House of Commons (the lower house) and plays a significant role in proposing amendments to new legislation and challenging the actions of the government,


Membership of the House of Lords is not democratically elected but attained by inheritance (by appointment or through positions within the Church of England (26 senior bishops have the right to sit in the House of Lords). The majority of members are life peers who are appointed by the Monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister.

Lords Reform remains unfinished business. In 1911 Parliament committed itself to replacing the House with a "a Second Chamber constituted on a popular instead of hereditary basis". A century on, and we’re still waiting.

What's the problem?

We believe that there is no place in a modern democratic system for an unelected second chamber. Members of the current House of Lords have real power, over policies and legislation, but they are not elected by the people who have to live by those laws.

We welcome the pledge from the coalition government to introduce a proportional system for electing a reformed upper house but already the anti-reform forces are mobilising so we will be campaigning to ensure that this important chance is not missed.

What now?

Find out more about our campaign to reform the House of Lords.

Recent News
18th August 2014
Recent weeks have continued to see all sorts of handwringing and dark soothsaying about the state of representative democracy. Untrusted politicians, growing inequality and low election turnouts are just part of this sorry state.   So what is to be done?   A new report seems to point the way ahead for us here in […]
13th August 2014
Did you vote in the European elections earlier this year? Perhaps not – it turns out that the 2014 ballot had the lowest ever turnout of any European election, at less than 43%.   Shortly before the elections, we published a report giving 12 practical recommendations on how to improve European democracy for British people. […]
8th August 2014
Another 22 peers have been appointed to the House of Lords today. Here are some facts, figures and thoughts about the announcement.   The new peers have donated nearly £7m to political parties. The vast majority of the £6,912,841 comes from one donor, Michael Farmer. But another five of the new peers are also party […]