Feb 7, 2007
Local Lib Dem Parliamentary campaigner has challenged Reading East MP, Rob Wilson, to vote for an end to cronyism.
The Labour Government publish their proposals for reform of the House of Lords today (Wednesday), and local Liberal Democrat Gareth Epps has hit out at them, saying:
“The vast majority of peers should be elected. Conservative MPs, like Rob Wilson, should stand up for Reading East and demand fair representation for local people.
Reform of the House of Lords is long overdue, but the government still want to be able to appoint their cronies to make our laws. They have clearly learnt no lessons from their current predicament.”
The government want only half of the House of Lords to be elected and most of the rest appointed by political parties. The remainder would be appointed by an independent commission.
Gareth said, “Half is just not good enough. If we are to have a fair and representative second chamber, we need the vast majority of peers to be elected and for politicians to have no hand in picking the rest. Rob Wilson should stand up and vote with my Liberal Democrat colleagues in the House of Commons to bring an end to cronyism.”
Editor’s Note – The government’s White Paper was published today and proposes that:
- Half of peers to be elected, 30% political appointees and 20% appointed by the independent appointments commission;
- Appoint no new hereditary peers;
- Appoint no new life peers;
- Members to hold office for a non-renewable term of 15 years;
Liberal Democrats believe:
- The majority of the House of Lords should be elected, with no more than 20% appointed by an Independent Appointments Commission
- There should be no additional political appointees;
- No more hereditaries and no more life peers created. Hereditaries should cease to serve at the date of the first elections;
- Members should be elected under a system that gives voters real choice (such as the Single Transferable Vote);
- We propose three fixed 4 year terms, i.e 12 years non-renewable.
- Reformed Lords (and Commons) should retain its powers of scrutiny over the government.
A vote on the proposals is expected in early March.