Royal Commission: Hurd joins Lords review

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The Independent Online
LORD HURD, the former foreign secretary, was last night named as the second former minister to serve on the Royal Commission on Lords Reform in a move to silence the Tory critics.

Lord Hurd's presence on the Commission alongside the chairman, Lord Wakeham, the former chief whip in the Thatcher government, will make it difficult for the Conservative leadership to criticise the final report for party political bias.

Labour MPs were surprised by the inclusion in the list of Bill Morris, the general secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union, busy with management changes at the Rover Longbridge plant. Lady Dean and Gerald Kaufman, the sharp-tongued chairman of the Commons select committee on Culture, Media and Sport are the other key Labour appointments, made by Tony Blair.

Their task will be to recommend long term changes to the Lords in a report to the Government before the end of the year. The issues will include whether or not the Lords should be directly elected.