MPs furious at Blair proposals on Lords

Tony Blair was accused of treating House of Lords reform with contempt yesterday after he announced that he was keeping a much ridiculed body which chose peers, and would not make radical changes to the upper House.

The Government, which published proposals for the Lords yesterday, was accused in the Commons of wanting a "House of Cronies" and of abandoning its manifesto commitment to make the upper House more democratic.

Robin Cook, the former leader of the Commons, said: "Can you explain why ... the Government now is going to propose to the Commons that we have an all-appointed second chamber?" he said.

MPs were furious after the Prime Minister made his announcement on the last day of term in the Commons. He said that he would reappoint the current House of Lords appointments commission for three years, including its chairman, Lord Stevenson of Coddenham.The commission, which was set up to choose "people's peers", was ridiculed after most of those it selected already held titles.

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