Monday, 4 April 2011

Bishops will survive in reformed House of Lords

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Deputy PM Nick Clegg
It seems odd to have two posts in a row about the House of Lords, but in a way the previous post is useful in highlighting why the news contained in this one is so disappointing.

It is reported in today's Times (which is of course behind a paywall, but the New Statesman have blogged the details) that Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is set to compromise with the Conservatives on the issue of reform of the House of Lords.

Clegg had hoped to reform the House into a fully-elected chamber, but it now appears that he will accept a system whereby 80 per cent of members are elected and 20 per cent appointed into a 300-member House. He has also, apparently, accepted that a number of places will be reserved for Church of England bishops, who currently hold 26 seats in the Lords (the Daily Mail say Clegg settled on this "after bowing to pressure from the Church of England", although it's not clear exactly what that pressure entailed).

This will, as the New Statesman put it, ensure that Britain "will remain the only semi-theocracy in the western world".
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