Latest Public Sector News

12.07.12

‘One more try’ for Lords reform – Cameron

David Cameron is to look at watering down the extent of House of Lords reforms as part of a last push to get Conservative rebels to agree to changes.

Sir George Young, Leader of the House of Commons, is set to reveal the updated plans later today, which could see the expulsion of the remaining 92 hereditary peers and a similar number to be elected at the next general election.

Deputy PM Nick Clegg’s original solution – a new chamber with 80% of 450 members to be elected by 2025 – looks dead in the water for now after the Government’s programme motion setting out the timetable for the debate was withdrawn rather than face certain defeat to an alliance of Labour and the Tory rebels.

A new timetable motion is expected to be outlined for the bill today, which unlike the programme motion, can be amended. Without a timetable for debate, many agree it is certain to fail due to Conservative filibustering.

Labour has pledged support for reform, and voted the bill through for a second reading, but opposes time limits on the debate.

Prime Minister David Cameron told his colleagues: “There will be no deal with Labour and there is not going to be endless haggling with the Liberal Democrats. But we are not giving up. We are going to have one more try to see if we can achieve a way forward with a smaller elected element.”

But Clegg warned earlier: “A deal's a deal and it's important you stick to that deal and you stick to the contract, if you like, that you have entered into.”

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