Labour plots an early sabotage of Lords reform

Opposition will exploit Coalition divisions to derail Nick Clegg's Bill at the first hurdle

Labour is plotting to join forces with Tory rebels in an attempt to sabotage the Government's plans for House of Lords reform before the proposals are even debated.

Nick Clegg is expected to publish his Lords Reform Bill on Wednesday after agreeing a series of concessions with David Cameron in an attempt to win over Conservative MPs.

However, in a strategy designed to exploit the divisions within the Coalition, Labour will use a Commons procedural motion in an attempt to derail the bill at its first hurdle.

They are expected to vote against a Commons timetable for the Bill – forcing every part of it to be debated by the whole house rather than in committee.

Such a move would also mean ministers would lose the power to limit debate on the Bill by imposing "guillotine" motions. Final details of the Lord Reform Bill are expected to be agreed by a full meeting of the Cabinet on Tuesday and will go before the House before the start of the Parliamentary recess next month.

In an attempt to win over Tory rebels, Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg are believed to have agreed the Bill should include a clause explicitly spelling out the primacy of the House of Commons and a guarantee that elections to the new-look House of Lords would not take place on current parliamentary constituency boundaries.

Both were key concerns of Conservative backbenchers who feared an elected House of Lords might challenge the Commons for supremacy and be used as a way of undermining constituency MPs. But it still may not be enough to head off a rebellion by up to 80 Tory backbenchers who, in part, see the legislation as a way of taking revenge on the Lib Dems.

They are angry in particular that Liberal Democrat MPs failed to back the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, in the row about the BSkyB take-over as well as the Liberal Democrat's opposition to plans to abolish GCSEs. Some Tory backbenchers see defeating Mr Clegg's legislation as "payback".

Yesterday it was reported that up to five Parliamentary Private Secretaries (PPS), who act as unpaid aides to Ministers could resign rather than vote for the Government on the issue.

These include Conor Burns, who works for Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson, Angie Bray, PPS to Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude, and Mark Menzies, PPS to Energy Minister Charles Hendry.

The legislation is expected to propose cutting the number of lords from about 900 to 300, with at least 80 per cent of peers being elected.

Mr Clegg is expected to lead the first Commons debate on the Bill in the second week of July.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Sport
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk