Lords reform: Next steps

Thanks to a meeting of the 1922 Committee, it looks like the PM will make one last push on a watered down version of the bill: getting rid of the surviving 92 hereditaries and electing about the same number of peers by 2015. Three problems: the Liberal Democrats do not appear to have been told about this, Labour have been pushing for higher proportions of elected members not less, and the Tory rebels may only be encouraged by the ‘one last push’ tactic.

Of course, the Liberal Democrats and Labour might be persuaded by the logic of such a bill if it left open the possibility of 100% election, but it depends how much trouble Labour wishes to make. Certainly, Tory peers and some of the Sensibles might wish to substitute the Steel reforms for the provisions in the bill, but who knows how that will go down? If any proportion of elected members was in the bill when it reaches the Lords, all hell will likely break loose. Still – there’s a whole two months before this becomes an issue again. Plenty of time for negotiations, on both sides.

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