David Cameron will announce in the next few days that his Lords reform bill is dead in the water as he has failed to convince his backbenches to back the idea.
The question of what happens next is high on the agenda, and Nick Clegg may choose this moment to extract further concessions from the Conservatives on issues like party funding – or (my personal hope) perhaps he’ll back Lord Steel’s original bill (removing patronage, ending hereditaries, retirement, kicking out criminals). Not sure if that’s appealing to any party leader, even if the Tory backbenches appear keen.
EDIT #1 3/08/12: Looks like despite all this, the Lib Dems are still serious about some sort of Lords reform:
Lib Dem source: not interested in deal on something like green energy – will be consequences if no Lords reform
— Andy Bell(@andybell5news) August 3, 2012
Is the Steel lifeboat about to take to water?