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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
29th September 2014
This is a guest post by Cheryl Gillan, Conservative MP for Chesham and Amersham and former Secretary of State for Wales. The views, opinions and positions expressed within are those of the author alone and do not represent those of the Electoral Reform Society.   When I was asked to write this blog, the invitation […]
22nd September 2014
The ERS held its first Labour Party conference event this morning. The subject was “What next after the Scottish independence referendum?”   At one level this should not be so contentious – Scotland has been promised significant devolution of new powers by all three of the big Westminster parties. A very rapid timetable has been established […]
18th September 2014
Scotland is shrouded in a muggy haar today, and it feels as if we’ve been cut off from the rest of the world in order to concentrate and exercise our democratic right to vote: for or against independence. It feels like a reason to talk to strangers, smile at passers-by. We’re making history.   There’s […]