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House of Lords Reform: A History

Volume 4. 1971–2014: The Exclusion of Hereditary Peers – Book 1: 1971–2001 – Book 2: 2002–2014

Peter Raina

Peter Raina’s magnificent history of Lords reform has already brought into the public domain a mass of original documents and thrown light on the debates they fuelled. In Volume 4 he brings his study up to the present age.
The Thatcher and Blair governments were both determined to shake up the system, and in such times the old House of Lords began to look more and more outdated. Mrs Thatcher’s inaction on the issue only increased calls for abolition or change. So the Blair government grasped the nettle. In one historic Act of Parliament it ejected hereditary peers from the House – except for 92 saved by a last-minute amendment. The negotiations and reactions surrounding this event are recorded here in lively detail.
This concluding book brings Peter Raina’s History of Lords’ Reform up to the end of 2014. It follows on from the banishment of hereditary peers from the House in the name of democracy. This was proclaimed as only the start of more sweeping change. What was to happen next?
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Chapter Twenty: 2014. A Bill Empowering the House of Lords to Expel or Suspend Members: Baroness Hayman

← ii. 600 | ii. 601 → CHAPTER TWENTY


The passing of the House of Lords Reform Act 2014, which was so concise in its presentation, proves that shorter bills have every chance of success in Parliament. It was perhaps this belief that prompted Baroness Hayman to bring forward her own private member’s bill on 5 June 2014 in the House of Lords. The bill read:1

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

1. Expulsion and suspension of members of the House of Lords

(i) Standing Orders of the House of Lords may make provision under which the House of Lords may by resolution –

(a)expel a member of the House of Lords, or

(b)suspend a member of the House of Lords for the period specified in the resolution.

(ii) A person expelled by virtue of this section ceases to be a member.

(iii) A person suspended by virtue of this section remains a member during the period of suspension, but during that period the person –

(a)is not entitled to receive writs of summons to attend the House of Lords,

← ii. 601 | ii. 602 → (b)despite any writ of summons previously issued to the person, is disqualified from sitting or voting in the House of Lords or...

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