David Cameron rules out fresh Lords reform bid

Posted On: 
28th July 2015

David Cameron has signalled he is preparing to appoint more Conservative peers to the House of Lords and will not attempt to reform significantly the second chamber. 

The scandal involving Lord Sewel has led to calls for another shake-up of the House of Lords.

Police are investigating after the footage was released of the peer allegedly snorting cocaine in the company of two prostitutes.

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Lord Sewel has since resigned from the House of Lords.

There has been speculation that the Prime Minister will shortly appoint dozens of new peers in a bid to reduce the current imbalance which sees Labour and Liberal Democrat peers comfortably outnumber their Tory counterparts.

Speaking in Singapore today, Mr Cameron suggested there would be a new list of appointees on the way in the near future.

“It is important the House of Lords in some way reflects the situation in the House of Commons,” he said at a question and answer event.

“At the moment it is well away from that. I’m not proposing to get there in one go, but it is important to make sure that the House of Lords more accurately reflects the situation in the House of Commons and that’s been the position of prime ministers for a very, very long time and for very good and fair reasons.”

An attempt to reform the House of Lords in the last parliament fell after opposition from Tory backbenchers led Nick Clegg to announce the plans – alongside the proposed boundary changes to MPs’ constituencies – would be abandoned.

Mr Cameron expressed regret about the failure of the reform bid, but said he would not try to revive another wholesale reform agenda in this parliament.

“I regret the fact that we didn’t achieve House of Lords reform in the last parliament, but it’s quite clear to me that there’s no point trying that route again,” he said.

Instead, the Prime Minister pointed to changes that allowed peers to retire and a new mechanism to expel misbehaving Members from the House of Lords.