House of Lords: The coming debate

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Indy Politics

MPs and peers are to be given a free vote on Lords reform, including the removal of the remaining 92 hereditary peers

MPs and peers are to be given a free vote on Lords reform, including the removal of the remaining 92 hereditary peers

Tony Blair wants a largely appointed chamber but was reluctantly forced by his Cabinet to take the matter to a free vote .

Repeated attempts to reform the Lords since Labour came to power, including a Royal Commission chaired by Lord Wakeham, have foundered over a failure to reach a consensus on the proportion of the Lords that should be elected.

The Tories now support a 'substantially' elected upper chamber,. The Liberal Democrats' spokesman, Mark Oaten, backed a 70 per cent elected Lords.

A cross-party group, including Labour's Robin Cook and Tony Wright, Tory, Ken Clarke and Liberal Democrat, Paul Tyler, also pushed the 70 per cent threshhold.

The Government proposes the Lords' powers to delay legislation for 12 months should be reduced to 60 days after the rows over the hunting ban.

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