Letter: Bishops in Lords

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Sir: Opposing Keith Porteus Wood's salient arguments against retaining the Bench of Bishops in a reformed House of Lords, Philip Mawer (letter, 11 August) uses a phrase coined by a member of another old profession in commenting that, as General Secretary of the National Secular Society, "he would, wouldn't he?" But Mr Mawer is himself Secretary General of the Church of England Archbishops' Council. So he would, wouldn't he?

The whole idea of reforming the second chamber is that a preponderance of large land-owners is not representative of the British population; and church leaders are no more so. Anglican bishops represent a dwindling minority Christian sect, while to augment them with appointees or other sects and religions would only add to the unrepresentative religious bias of the House at the expense of genuine democracy.