Government in Lords defeat over Referendums Bill

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The Independent Online
The Government was heading for confrontation with the House of Lords last night after suffering its first defeat since it came to office over its flagship Bill to allow referendums in Wales and Scotland on devolution. Downing Street sources said the Government would use its massive majority in the Commons to overturn the defeat by the Lords on the Referendums Bill.

The defeat, inflicted at the hands of Tory hereditary peers, reinforced the Government's determination to abolish the voting rights of hereditary peers with a Bill in the next session of Parliament.

"This is not a defeat for the Government, it is a defeat for democracy. Every time the Tories abuse their majority in this way to block manifesto pledges we shall draw attention to the need for reform in this area," said a government source.

Peers voted by 101 to 94, a majority of seven, during the Bill's committee stage for the referendums to be held on the same day in September.