» Friday, March 24, 2006

Lords Reform

Asked whether the Prime Minister had been signalling a new desire to get on with Lord’s reform and if he had been forced to change his view about electing the House because of the loans for peerages scandal, the PMOS said that the answer to that was no. If journalists looked at when Lord Falconer had started discussions with people, it had been before recent events. The commitment to Lords reform and to finding a consensus on Lords reform was in the government’s manifesto. Lord Falconer was simply delivering on the government’s manifesto. Put that Lord Falconer had only been looking at powers whereas now he was also addressing composition, the PMOS said that first and foremost if you were looking at even just the powers of the Lords that was Lords reform. Secondly, powers and composition had always gone together. The speed of any reforms would depend on how quickly a consensus could be reached.

Asked whether the Prime Minister had a preferred option on Lords reform, the PMOS said no. The Prime Minister had made plain in the House last week that his thinking continued on this issue and that he would make his views known in due course. He, however, believed first and foremost that there should be a debate and that there should be an attempt to achieve a genuine consensus, and Lord Falconer was working on that.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Search for related news

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