Advanced Search
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
20th October 2014
Where should power lie?   Whatever the answer, it won’t do for these decisions to be taken behind closed doors. That’s why we’ve got together with 27 civil society organisations, academics and democracy experts to call for a UK-wide, citizen-led Constitutional Convention empowered to answer questions about the future shape of the UK.   We’ve […]
17th October 2014
“If we Brits could write a constitution for the Germans in 1947/8, why can’t we do it for ourselves?”   When it came to discussing our inaugural annual lecture themed around the next 15 years of devolution, it was pretty easy to decide who would be best suited for the task. Rhodri Morgan was First […]
10th October 2014
So UKIP burst through, taking Clacton on a 44.1% swing, the second highest in UK by-election history after Bermondsey and Old Southwark, 1982.   The two party system is dead, and has been for a long time. The voices suggesting that coalition would renew it are silent. Multi-party politics is here to stay. And it […]