Submission to the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee: House of Lords reform
Unlock Democracy campaigns for a fully elected second chamber. We believe that members of the UK Parliament should be accountable to the people of the UK and that the most pressing reform of the House of Lords is the need to introduce democratic legitimacy. It is now over 100 years since the Parliament Act 1911 was passed as a temporary measure until an elected second chamber could be introduced. However we recognise that the government has chosen not to seek to progress the House of Lords Reform Bill so democratic reform of the second chamber is not possible within this parliament.
We understand the Committee’s desire to find into what smaller-scale changes to the membership and structure of the House of Lords would be likely to command a consensus. Many of the ideas being explored by the committee seem sensible straightforward at first glance.
However in reality what appear to be small scale changes would in practice fundamentally change the nature of membership of the House of Lords and alter the composition of the House without any consideration of its appropriate powers; an approach that opponents of reform in both Houses criticised when the House of Lords reform Bill was debated.