If you hold the power to help decide how Britain is run you should be elected by us, the British public. That’s democracy.
British governments have been trying to reform the House of Lords for over a century, but in 2012 the House of Lords Reform bill failed
amidst cheap point scoring and political games.
All three main parties made commitments to pursue Lords reform in their 2010 manifestos yet when the moment arrived our MPs squandered this consensus and allowed short term self-interest to eclipse the national interest.
Lords reform will not go away. We simply cannot have thousands of unelected politicians passing laws which the British people have to live by. The public are ready, with 79% supporting reform, now it’s our job to hold the politicians to account.
What changes are needed
- A 100% elected House of Lords. If you hold the power to pass laws you should be chosen by the people who have to live by those laws.
- Elections using the Single Transferable Vote to ensure voters have a real choice between candidates, small parties and independents, improve representation and to avoid wasted votes.
- No reserved seats for Bishops of the Church of England, or indeed for any faith community leaders.
- Thresholds or other positive measures should be introduced to ensure diversity of candidates and to make sure the Lords looks and feels more like Britain today.
The Electoral Reform Society in the news...
(6 August 2012)
The Electoral Reform Society said parliamentarians had "squandered consensus, in the name of cheap point scoring and political games".
"This isn't about the failure of one party, one government or one bill, but of politics itself," said Katie Ghose, chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society. "Each party has had an opportunity to break the impasse. Each party has chosen not to." Read more
The Daily Mail
(3 August 2012)
Katie Ghose said: ‘This reform is vital for Britain to hold its head up as a modern democracy but it is being sabotaged by MPs who think it will work against their own interests.’ Read more
(23 April 2012)
Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said: "It is deeply disturbing that the Committee can't seem to agree on the basic principle that we should be able to elect our representatives...
The Telegraph (20 April 2012)
Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society’s said: “We can understand why unelected Lords might have little time for accountability or manifesto commitments. These MPs have no such excuses.
(4 April 2012)
Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said the committee's decision not to recommend the STV was an opportunity missed.
"If you hold the power to decide how Britain is run, you should be elected by us, the British public. That's democracy. This mangled recommendation from the committee would mean it is once again the parties who decide who gets a seat in the House of Lords," Read more
Our work to reform the House of Lords
The Society has provided a breifing for all MPs for the second reading of the House of Lords Reform Bill on 9 July 2012. Second reading breifing on Lords Reform
The Society has responded to the report from the Joint Committee on the Draft House of Lords Reform Bill published on 23 April. Download a copy of our Lords Reform Briefing
In October The Electoral Reform Society provided a Submission of evidence to the Joint Committee on the Draft Bill for House of Lords Reform. Download submission on the Draft Bill for House of Lords Reform