Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Bishops to remain as government proposes House of Lords reform

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Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams addressing the
House of Lords
This afternoon, the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has unveiled the government's plans for House of Lords reform in the House of Commons. As we anticipated in a piece on our site a few weeks ago, 80 per cent of the reformed House would be elected by the public, with 20 per cent appointed, and the Church of England would retain its foothold, with the number of bishops reduced from 26 to 12

The debate in the House of Commons is continuing as I write (at around 3:45pm), and you can tune in live via the BBC website. I'll link to some news articles when they appear later.

Please do share your thoughts in the comments.

Update: As the BHA have just pointed out, these proposals would actually increase the proportion of Bishops in the Lords. Currently there are 26 bishops out of 800 members, which is around 3 per cent, while under the reforms there would be 12 bishops out of 300 members, or 4 per cent.

Here's a report from the BBC, as well as the BHA's reaction to the news.
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