Petition Give the electorate a referendum on the abolition of the House of Lords

The House of Lords is a place of patronage where unelected and unaccountable individuals hold a disproportionate amount of influence and power which can be used to frustrate the elected representatives of the people

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Parliament debated this topic

This topic was debated on 18 June 2018

Pc paul scully wh 180618

Government responded

As stated in our manifesto, comprehensive reform of the House of Lords is not a priority for this parliament.

Read the response in full

Therefore, the Government does not intend to hold a referendum on the abolition of the House of Lords.

As set out in the manifesto, comprehensive reform of the House of Lords is not a priority. Therefore, the Government does not intend to hold a referendum on the abolition of the House.

The Government is committed to ensuring that the House of Lords continues to fulfil its constitutional role as a revising and scrutinising chamber which respects the primacy of the House of Commons. We will also continue to work to ensure that the House of Lords remains relevant and effective by addressing issues such as its size.

The Lord Speaker’s committee on the size of the House of Lords, chaired by Lord Burns, made recommendations in October 2017 on ways of reducing the size of the House without requiring legislation. In response, The Prime Minister has written to the Lord Speaker and agreed to continue with the restraint she has shown so far when making appointments to the House. It is incumbent on all sides of the House to consider what they can do to further promote the culture of retirement. In light of the Prime Minister's letter, the Lord Speaker has reconvened the Committee to consider next steps.

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MPs ask Government for a clearer response on petition about House of Lords

The Government’s response to this petition has changed. This change took place on 19 June 2018.

This is because the Petitions Committee (the group of MPs who oversee the petitions system) did not think that the Government’s first response was satisfactory, because it did not address directly the petition’s specific request for a referendum on the abolition of the House of Lords.

The Committee wrote to the Government to ask for a new response which answered the petition more directly.

The Government has produced a new response:

As stated in our manifesto, comprehensive reform of the House of Lords is not a priority for this parliament.

Therefore, the Government does not intend to hold a referendum on the abolition of the House of Lords.

As set out in the manifesto, comprehensive reform of the House of Lords is not a priority. Therefore, the Government does not intend to hold a referendum on the abolition of the House.

The Government is committed to ensuring that the House of Lords continues to fulfil its constitutional role as a revising and scrutinising chamber which respects the primacy of the House of Commons. We will also continue to work to ensure that the House of Lords remains relevant and effective by addressing issues such as its size.

The Lord Speaker’s committee on the size of the House of Lords, chaired by Lord Burns, made recommendations in October 2017 on ways of reducing the size of the House without requiring legislation. In response, The Prime Minister has written to the Lord Speaker and agreed to continue with the restraint she has shown so far when making appointments to the House. It is incumbent on all sides of the House to consider what they can do to further promote the culture of retirement. In light of the Prime Minister's letter, the Lord Speaker has reconvened the Committee to consider next steps.

This has replaced the previous response which said:

The Government is committed to ensuring that the House of Lords continues to fulfil its constitutional role as a revising and scrutinising chamber which respects the primacy of the House of Commons.

As set out in the manifesto, the Government is committed to ensuring that the House of Lords continues to fulfil its constitutional role as a revising and scrutinising chamber which respects the primacy of the House of Commons.

Whilst comprehensive reform is not a priority, the Government will also continue to work to ensure that the House of Lords remains relevant and effective by addressing issues such as its size.

The Lord Speaker’s committee on the size of the House of Lords, chaired by Lord Burns, made recommendations in October 2017 on ways of reducing the size of the House without requiring legislation. In response, The Prime Minister has written to the Lord Speaker and agreed to continue with the restraint she has shown so far when making appointments to the House. It is incumbent on all sides of the House to consider what they can do to further promote the culture of retirement. In light of the Prime Minister's letter, the Lord Speaker has asked the Committee to reconvene to consider next steps.

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