Letter: Lords reform

Sir: I am glad to see The Independent (leading article, 22 December) take the question of Lords reform beyond titles and hereditary attendance. A renewed House of Lords should complement the Commons in those functions of Parliament which the Commons has not been adequately covering.

First and foremost Parliament should be the people's scrutineer of government. This above all, under party pressure and lack of time and resources, MPs have not been doing.

Second, there have been major continuing issues and areas of policy which the Commons have been consistently failing to take hold of. It is the Lords themselves who have already done most in vetting EU legislation. But there are other black holes in Parliamentary scrutiny - world environment, aid and trade issues abroad, health and education strategy at home. House of Lords reform needs to identify these neglected functions and then elect the right men and women to do the work, with the necessary tools for the job.

WILLIAM WYNDHAM

Lewes, East Sussex

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