Lords could reflect general election results

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Indy Politics

A reformed House of Lords could be indirectly elected to reflect the results of general elections, ministers said yesterday. Lord Falconer, the Lord Chancellor, confirmed that ministers were looking at plans to use general election results to determine the political make up of the Lords.

Baroness Amos, the Leader of the Lords, said indirect elections were one way forward for a more representative upper house. Under the plan, peers would be chosen from party lists after the election to ensure that the upper house reflected the political balance of power in the Commons.

The Government faces a backlash in the Lords over plans to remove the remaining 92 hereditary peers along with the law lords, effectively creating an all-appointed upper chamber. But Lord Falconer told the BBC's Politics Show "people should not sense that reform has come to an end". He said: "The critical thing that the House of Lords does is determine what legislation looks like and we need to be sure that each part is properly represented. After two landslides, the Conservatives remain the single largest party in the Lords."

But Lord Strathclyde, the Opposition leader in the Lords, said: "What they [the Government] want is to rig the House of Lords in order to change the British constitution to serve the interests of the Labour Party and they are doing so at a time when they believe the people of this country will not notice. It is a national scandal."