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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were both determined to shake up the system, and in such times the old House of Lords began to look more and more outdated.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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← ii. 614 | ii. 615 → Bibliography


The Parliamentary Archives: Houses of Parliament, London:Reference Code: HL/WHE/1/1/15–16.

Bodleian Library, Oxford:Conservative Party Papers.

Nuffield College Library, Oxford:Lord Wakeham Papers.

Adonis, Andrew, Modernising Britain’s Democracy. Why, What and How. The Case for Change (Democratic Audit in association with the Scarman Trust, March 1997).

A Future Fair for All (2010).

A House for the Future (Royal Commission on the Reform of the House of Lords, January 2000). Cm 4534.

Aitken, Ian, ‘Nix the fix and scrape the lot of them’, Tribune, 28 January 2000.

Ambitions for Britain (2001).

Amory, Edward Heathcoat, Lords a’ Leaping (Centre for Policy Studies, September 1998).

An Elected Second Chamber: Further Reform of the House of Lords (14 July 2008). Cm 7438.

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