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Straw to set out plans for Lords reform

26 August 2009

UK Justice Secretary Jack Straw is set to unveil plans to replace the last remaining hereditary peers in the House of Lords and introduce elections to the upper chamber.

The proposals are expected to see members of the second chamber chosen by elections, serving long terms of office, but unable to stand for more than one term.

Each member would represent large constituencies, with polls taking place at the same time as general elections, but with only a third of seats contested each time.

“The 1999 reforms dramatically changed the Lords for the better. But this remains unfinished business,” Mr Straw said.

“The current situation where a small remainder of hereditary peers retained their seats in the Lords was intended as an interim step, and now it is time to complete the process.

"A reformed second chamber could breathe new life into Parliament while protecting the fundamental primacy of the Commons."

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